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The atlas of early man / 
f CB311 .H35 1976 


Hawkes, Jacquetta Hopkins, 


f CB 311 .H35 1976 
Hawkes, Jacquetta Hopk 

The atlas of early man 



* //13129 
Ca Hawkes, Jacquetta Hopkins, 1910- 
uoc „ "^^^ atlas of early man / Jacquetta 
VoT^ Hawkes, assisted by David Trump. — New 
1976 York : St. Martin's Press, 1976. 

255 p. : ill, (some col.) ; 29 cm. 

Includes indexes. 

#13129 Reclass $ . . 

1. Civilization, Ancient. 2. Man, 
Prehistoric. I. Trump, David H. II. 

15 APR 93 2590149 NEWCxc 75-43424 

»0 '^KU. STREET 






Jacquetta Hawkes 

Assisted by David Tramp 

St. Martin's lYess, New York 


who first convinced me that people want 

a history designed to show 

"What Happened at the Same Time as What" 

Edited and designed by 

Dorling Kindersley Limited, 

29 King Street, London, WC2E 8JD 

Copyright © 1976 Dorling Kindersley Limited, London 

Text copyright © 1976 Jacquetta Hawkes 

All rights reserved. 

For information, 

write: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 175 Fifth Ave., 

NewYork.,N.Y. lOOIO 

Made and printed in Great Britain 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 75^3424 

First pubUshed in the United States of America in 1976 

HALF TITLE PAGE: Ivory relief of a warrior in ceremonial 
dress. From the palace of Shalmaneser lU, Nimiud. 
Ninth century BC. 

TITLE PAGE: Bronze head of Aphrodite. Praxiteles. 
Fourth century BC. 



Introduction 7 

Penodl 13 

Advanced Huntmg cultures - 
Cromagnons - flint and bone tools - 
cave paintings - peopling of 
Americas and Austraha - end of Ice 
Age - Late Hunting cultures 

Technolosy 24 Arc/iitecture 28 
Art 32 Summary chart 36 


Period 11 39 

First farmers - domestication of 
plants and animals - New Stone 
Age - first pottery - villages and 
towns - Mother Goddess worship 
- rock paintings 

Technology 46 Architecture 50 
Art 54 Simimory chart 58 


Period III 61 

Literate civilization - cities - 
Copper Age - unification of Upper 
and Lower Egypt - kUns - seagoing 
sailing ships - megahthic tombs - 
wheeled vehicles 

Technology 72 Architecture 76 
Art 80 Summary chart i 

Period IV 87 

River vaUcy civiliziiciuns - Ur - 
pyramids - ligxurats - Maltese 
temples - lake ilwellmRS - 
CiUamesh - Sargon - Imhotep - 
bronze techtjology 

Period VII 167 

Persian Empire - Roman conquest 
^ of Europe- Alexander the Great - 
Darius - Persepolis - Great Wall 
of China - Parthenon - stupas - 
hill forts - Greek drama 

Period V 113 

Minoan Crete - Mycenaean 
civilization - rise of Assyria - New 
Kingdom in Egypt - Hammurabi - 
Ramesses II - Shang Dynasty - 
Stonehenge - alphabetic writing 

Tfechrjoiogy 124 Architecture 128 
Art 132 Summary chart 136 

Period VIII 199 
Imperial Rome - Christianity - 
Mayas - Gupta Dynasty - Jesus of 
Nazareth - Hadrian - King Arthur - 
Constantine - fall of Rome - 
beginnings of Byzantium 

Tkchnology 1 16 Archife<-f lire 220 
Art 224 Summarv char '' '' « 

Period VI 139 

Assynan Empire - Medes and 
Persians - Phoenicians - Greek city 
states - Olmecs - Etruscans - 
Homer - Solomon - Buddha - 
Confucius - coinage 

Tfechnology 152 Architectuj-e 156 
Art 160 Summiiry chart 164 

Adas of Archaeological Sites 230 
Gazetteer 246 
Index 248 
Acknowledgments 254 


This b*)()k has a very ilctiiuiL inirjiDsi. I df several ileeatles I have been 
writinK for reaiiers with a general interest in prehistory and early 
history The experience has convinced me that they teel one >;reat 
need How oKen has a person come up to me and said "It's all very well, 
but can't you make me understand 'what happened at the same lime as 
what'"' - or words to that eMect 

I sympathise with them very much Even for the nearer and more 
tamiiiar periods of our past the recognition of contemporaries of all 
kinds is hard enough Who can readily link in time, say, kings and 
inventions, statesmen and artists, wars and architectural style- Who 
would be happy if given a particular date and askedtosay who was 
living and what was happening in France, Turkey, India, China, Mexico 
and Nonh America' There has been an abundance of linear histories 
pursuing from first to last the history of a people or land or of any of the 
innumerable special themes that concern students of the past. There 
have been few that move sideways, as it were, rather than on and on, 
few concerned to show what happened at the same time rather than 
what followed. 

This is why i determined to produce a book that would answer the 
question "what happened at the same time as what?" For the purpose I 
have divided the 40,tXX) or so years from the full emergence of Fiomo 
sapiens down to AD 500 into eight time steps, each one of them taken 
nght round the globe to display what was happening in many fields of 
human activity and what famous men and women were living. 

In some ways it would have been good to have more steps to secure 
more precise contemporaneity, but it was evident that this would make 
the work dauntingly elaborate - and far too bulky. So they are limited 
to eight, representing progressively shorter time spans as events and 
individuals crowd on to the stage of our knowledge. 

In writing the main texts, I found it impossible to keep to a 
standard form, since the nature of the information available is so very 
different as between one period and another As soon as the material 
allows, however, I have begun each section with a rapid global survey of 
the main points of interest, then sketched in a more coherent outline 
of its history. 

As for the selection of the pictures, I make no apology for including 
as many as possible of the most familiar treasures from the past, for it 
would have gone against my whole intention to do otherwise. Readers 
and viewers want to know the comparative ages of the Lascaux and 
Altamira cave paintings, the pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, the head of 
Nefertiti, the gold mask of Agamemnon, Shang bronzes, the Parthenon 
and the Pantheon, the temple pyramids of Mexico, to pick a few items 
at random. So these famous pieces appear in the period spreads, 
although less familiar subjects have been chosen for the text pages. 

In both text and illustrations most attention is focused on the 
centres of innovation and achievement, while at the same time the lack 
of change in other regions is recorded. In this way it can be seen how 
regions that have been backward may quicken and lead a new advance, 
while the eariy homelands of progressive change grow sluggish. I hope I 
have now explained my purpose. 

In trying to achieve it I have encountered two main difficulties. 
The first, which I must feel more as the author, is the hard intractability 

The boy pharaoh Tiitankhamun depicted with hm wile (diiugtiter of AkhcnatenI t 
back of one of his thrones. The throne u of wood, overlaid with gold. 

of words, their cumbcrsomcncss, the amount of space they take to 
express even a simple meaning. Sentences cannot skip quickJy enough 
from place to place to give a picture of all that is happening at one time 
To get as near as possible toachievmgthis 1 have sometimes cut in 
disconnected references to some contemporary event or life - but 
plainly to do this very often would lead to chaos - or at the very least to 
irritation Happily, however, this difficulty can be overcome by using 
other forms of expression. For each section the chart, the world map 
and the pictures illustrating art, architecture and technology convey 
what was happening at the same time as what almost in a glance. That 
has been our intention in planning the volume. 

The second difficulty is of a totally different kind. It is caused by 
present uncertainties about the best known of all scientific aids to 
archaeology - the method of dating that is often summanly called 
Carbon 14, but ior which I have preferred the term radiocarbon dating. 
When it was first introduced, soon after the war, it was hoped that this 
way of obtaining dates by analysing the breakdown of radioactive 
isotopes of carbon in various organic substances, such as charcoal and 
bone, was going to give us fairly exact dates back to about 3(J,CXX) years 
ago. Much work was done to perfect the technique and it seemed it 
must become more and more accurate. Then it began to appear through 
testing Egyptian antiquities of historically know age that something 
was wrong with radiocarbon dates before about 1000 BC. They were, 
in fact, tt)o late, and increasingly so as one went further back in time. 
For example, an Egyptian object known to have been made in 
C.2500 BC would be dated by radiocarbon analysis to c.2100 BC. 

Evidently the intake of Carbon 14 has not been constant. Almost as 
soon as the trouble had been recognized a possible remedy was forth- 
coming. The ingenious yet technically simple method of daring timber 
by counring annual tree rings had already been carried quite far into 
the past and now it was found that with the use of the long-lived 
bristlecone pines of California it could be pushed back much further. 
Their rings could be directly tested by radiocarbon methods and in this 
way the degree of error fixed back to about 4500 BC. Once this had 
been done - and of course what I have made to sound simple was a very- 
laborious business - it became possible to make the necessary 
correction to the radiocarbon dates, although it was complicated by the 
fact that there were wobbles in the curve that made precision even 
more elusive. 

For some years now it has been the custom among archaeologists 
to use two dates, one according to radiocarbon age (which gives correct 
relative dates as between one antiquity and another) and the other with 
the bristlecone correction that is as near as possible to the real age 
according to our calendar The first fonu was written as b.c, the second 
as B.C. It was obvious that this was a temporary expedient and that as 
confidence in the bristlecone figures grew firmer a shift to the 
calendrical B.C. figures must be made. 

Although minor adjustments are still going on, and perhaps there is 
still an undertow of uneasiness about the corrected dates, we decided 
that confidence in their reliability is now so general that they must be 
adopted for this book. It might well be said that it is madness to produce 
a book so largely dependent on a chronological framework at a 
moment of such uncertainty and change. However, I can say from 
experience that there has never been a moment when it has not 
appeared rash to produce any wide-ranging archaeological work, when 
the cautious have not counselled delay. 

The most conspicuous alteration in the historical picttue caused 

The Great Sphinx at Giza 


/• / <i 

by radiocarbon dating in Kcncral and heightened by the recent 
correction is to push back the dates ot prehistoric Europe in relation to 
those ot the onent Indeed, rather exaKx^rated claims have been made 
tor the revolutionary effects entailed The public has been encouraged 
to suppose that instead of the West usually being indebted to Asia and 
the eastern Mediterranean tor progressive innovation, Europe wan 
often in the van Anyone using this book with that idea m mind must 
see hovk' false it is The only adjustment of much interest to the general 
reader is that megalithic tomb building seems to have owed nothing to 
Mediterranean influences but to have been native tt) Europe- Also that 
it is possible to claim the Maltese temples as the earliest monumental 
architecture in stone, older by several centunes than the step pyramid 
and its associated buildings in Egypt. They are, however, relatively 
crude and modest in scale 

This question of cultural changes brought ab( )ut by migration, trade, 
war, the travels ot individuals or direct borrowing from individuals 
brings me to the onlv theoretical matter I need to raise I have generally 
avoided bringing any personal view of history into the text, but there is 
one exception I have revealed myself as a diffusionist - although a 
moderate one. Although every case must be judged on its merits, I 
believe that technical inventions, or peculianties in art styles or crafts- 
manship are somewhat more likely to be due to one of the above means 
of learning from others than to independent origins. I probably would 
not have thought of raising this issue had there not been a strong wave 
of anti-diffusionisms in archaeology. I believe it to be dictated by a wish 
to make the flowing movements of existence more amenable to 
"scientific" analysis. It is clearly against most of the manifestations of 
recorded history. Readers will, I think, be able to see why work on this 
volume has only strengthened my preference for a rational diffusionism 
A few more explanations need to be made in this Introduction. First 
as to the use of archaeological terms. I have as far as possible shunned 
them. I have usually translated Palaeolithic as Old Stone Age and 
Neolithic as New Stone Age. The last, highly progressive phase of the 
Old Stone Age (the Upper or Late Palaeolithic) is referred to as the 
Advanced Hunting period, and the Mesolithic which followed as the 
Late Hunting penod. Particularly in Penod I it proved impossible not to 
use the term "culture" in the specialized sense of a grouping of 
distinctive ways of making and doing things which in the remote 
prehistoric past is all we have to identify a coherent people or society. 

Then there is that troublesome conflict in geographical usage 
between those who bring the Middle East nght to the Mediterranean, 
seemingly leaving only Anatolia (Asia Minor) for the Near East, and 
those who keep to earlier custom in extending the Near East as far as 
Iraq. I have followed the latter school. I 

No one, I think, can disagree if I say that the plan of this book is a ' 
very ambitious one. I have been most ably assisted in carrying it out bv 
David Trump and the picture-seekers of Dorling Kindersley but we 
know that with so vast an undertaking faults will be found even m our 
best endeavour. All the same, when next I am asked what happened at 
the same time as what, I shall be able with some confidence to refer the 
questioner to this Atlas of Early Man. 

King Aicesilas of Cyrene supervises the weighings recording 
iind storing of a commodity - probably wool, for which 
his country was famous Liconian kylix. sixth century BC. 



OITOSrTE Olduvai GoT%e. Tanziinia 

OVERLEAF The rotunda, 
in the Dordogne. France 

r -Hall of Bulls: at Lasamx Ca\c 

1 am beginning this scries of time steps through history at .^S.OOO BC 
because that was when, withm a few thousand years, modem man was 
established as the sole human species on earth It was also the dawn of 
an age ot rapid cultural advance Tim)1s became more exactly designed 
for specialized uses, hunting and lighting weapons became more 
effective, skin clothing and shelter afforded fxriter protection against 
the cold. Far more imponant for any true evaluation of human advance- 
ment, it was not long before these advanced hunting peoples began to 
create works of art ot high imaginative quality, executed in an amazingly 
wide range ot techniques Their fine sculpture, modelling, painting, and 
engraving put us in touch with them on fully human terms. We can see 
them as already our brothers, with the same creative urge, the same gih 
for image making; they are already feeling theu" way towards religious 

This must be the right date at which to begin even if only because 
any earlier one would leave us very little to record in our various 
categories beyond simple stone tools and a few almost featureless 
settlement sites. I think, though, that I should give an outline of what 
went before in order to answer some questions very relevant to the 
purpose of this book. 

First of all, at the risk of irritating readers who already know the 
answer, I must deal with the question of prehistoric men and the giant 
reptiles In spite of all efforts to dispel the idea that they were contem- 
poranes, it is still quite common to see drawings of hairy men dressed in 
even hairier skins shaking clubs at dinosaurs or ducking to avoid the 
gaping beaks of pterodactyls. The fact is, of course, that the reptiles 
evolved their vast bulk and strange forms and excrescences during 
those unimaginably long spans of time known to geologists as the 
lurassic and Cretacious penods, which lasted from 180 to 70 miUion 
years ago. Even vsnth the great lengthening of the time span of human 
evolution that has recently been accepted, the earliest tool-making 
humans did not appear on earth much before two million years ago. It 
was, therefore, impossible by many tens of millions of years for even 
very apish-looking forebears to have confronted even the latest genera- 
tions of huge reptiles. 

Newspapers so often announce that another fossil "man" has been 
unearthed and our ancestry pushed back another million or so years 
that many people must read these accounts with either scepucism or 
amusement. One reason for this apparently elastic ancesual line is that 
it IS extremely difficult to decide what features should be accepted as 
the criteria for humanity. One possible definition is cultural: that beings 
known to have been capable of making tools should qualify as men. 
The troublesome word in this definition is "known", for very early tools 
have often been found wnthout human fossils, and we can never be sure 
that human fossils found with no tools nearby are not the remains of 
tool-making men. 

In general, physical characteristics are now preferred as criteria. 
Brain size is important, and human evolution has in fact involved a 
fairly steady increase in the number of "little grey cells" up to the 
emergence of modem man. On the other hand, brain size is not a 
reliable guide for judging which species were on the direct Hne of our 
ancestry and which were on side branches that were to die out. Oddly 
enough, the exact pattern of teeth and their cusps is one of the most 
useful indications of which fossil beings could or could not have had us 
as their descendants. 

Inevitably there is much that is uncertain about the emergence and 
development of our kind on earth, but in spite of this, enough of 
humanity's true story is now known for it to satisfy our present 
purposes. First of all, it can be said that the evolurionary emergence of 


Kx, ' 





35,000-8000 BC 

The conditions created by 
the ghciations of the last 
Ice Age allowed the 
Cromagnons to reach every 
continent. The water held in 
ice sheets lowered sea levels 
and thus created greater 
land masses. Not only were 
the distances between 
continents shortened, but 
actual land bridges were 
formed between certain 
areas. The accompanying 
map shows the greatest 
extent of the glaciation as 
well as the maximum 
amount of land exposed 
about 18,000 years ago. 
Present-day geographical 
boundaries have been 
outlined for comparison 

humans, that is to say of the genus Homo, took 
place during the period known to geologists as 
the Pleistocene. This seems to have begun 
something like two million years ago and to 
have lasted until it was succeeded by the 
Holocene (or Recent) period after the retreat of 
the last glaciarion some 10,000 years ago. 

The Pleistocene is sometimes popularly 
called the Great Ice Age, and it was indeed 
distinguished by being colder than the preced- 
ing Pliocene. But the cold was not continuous. 
The long earlier part of the period is still 
wrapped in a fog of ignorance, but from about 
600,000 years ago the Northern Hemisphere 
(with some local variation) was subject to four 
phases of extreme cold when ice covered about 
one-quarter of the land svirface. Of the warmer 
intervals between these glaciations, the second 
was the longest and warmest. The final glacia- 
tion, although it had minor fluctuations in cold 
and humidity, was perhaps the most intense. Its 
onset was about 70,000 years ago, and the ice 
sheets and glaciers had retreated to roughly 
their present positions by 8000 BC; so the 
Pleistocene includes the whole of the period to 
be covered in this section. 

As well as blanketing vast areas with ice, 
the glaciations had powerful effects on the rest 
of the planet. They probably often coincided 
with periods of much greater rainfall farther 

south, particularly in Africa. In many regions 
beyond the edges of the ice, finely pulverized 
rock dust was carried by the wind to form thick 
deposits of fertile soil (loess). These supported 
good pasture for the great herds of animals to 
be hunted by Old Stone Age peoples, and they 
later provided a soil easily and rewardingly 
cultivated by the primitive tools of early farmers. 
Some of the widest spreads of loess can 
be found in China and in the lands stretching 
from south Russia (the "black earth" of the 
Ukraine) across much of the north European 
plain. Another very significant effect of the 
glaciations was to lock up huge quantities of 
water and so to lower sea levels all over the 
globe. Such low sea levels made it possible for 
people to enter the Americas by a land bridge 
between Siberia and Alaska; they joined Britain 
with the continent and Denmark with Sweden. 
In southern Asia, by exposing the Sunda Shelf, 
they linked Java with the mainland and made it 
easier for human beings to reach Australia. 

This, then, was the shifting background 
against which ancient man evolved, developing 
his brain and its cultural capacities. It may well 
be, indeed, that the changes, demanding move- 
ment and adaptation, stimulated both mental 
and physical evolution. The Pleistocene of 
geology coincides with the Palaeolithic, or Old 
Stone Age, of human history. 

The first sumdardizcil tiM 
was the handaxe. a weighty. 
all-purpose implement 

Amon^ all that wc do not know, or dispute, 
about our origins, two important tacts now look 
well established One is that our genus oj Homt) 
originated in the Atrican tontuient, perhaps 
something like two million years ago The 
second is that for a very long time two distinct 
groups ot the hominid tamily were contem- 
poraries, and indeed lived side by side in some 
regions. One group, with many variants, 
known as the Australopithecines ("Southern 
Apes") had relatively small brains (about 
600 cc, much the same as those of the great 
apes), heavy brow ridges, and massive, prom- 
inent teeth. They are fairly well known from 
the works of Raymond Dart and Robert Ardrcy, 
who studied the remains of some of the last 
survivors in South Africa, and through the well 
publicized representative skull found by Mary 
Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. Her 
discovery has become known as Nutcracker 
Man because of the huge size of his molar teeth. 
The second group, recognized only in recent 
years through further discoveries of the Leakey 
family, were the intellectuals of that remote 
age; they had a rather higher brow and larger 
brain (about 700 cc), were almost certainly the 
first stone tool makers, and were very small, 
averaging about four feet in height. These beings 
have been judged already worthy of admission 
to the genus Homo and are very probably our 
direct ancestors. The name of Homo habilis (or 
Skilful Man) has been granted to them in recog- 
nition of their status as pioneer tool makers. 

Any imaginative visitor to Olduvai can feel 
some contact with these inhabitants of over 
one and a half million years ago. Most important, 
there on the edge of the Sercngeti Plain one 
can get an idea of the wonderful abundance of 
animal life which, though with changing 
species, supplied the needs and excited the 
emotions of human hunters throughout the 
Old Stone Age. Then down on the floor of the 
gorge, enclosed by its coloured walls, there are 
squatting places, one with a semicircle of stones 
suggesting a windbreak. There food bones and 
stone tools, rough yet effective for jabbing, 
cutting, and scraping, lie thickly scattered. It is 
easy to imagine family groups of these little 
people crouched devouring their meat, fish, or 
birds. How far could they communicate with 
one another by sounds or words- And did Nut- 
cracker Man, whose skull lay on one of these 
sites, serve Homo habilis for food or in some 
domestic capacity- Those are questions I would 
very much like to have answered 

This first stage in human evolution took 
place in Afnca. It is not at present known how 
soon men began to spread out of the continent 
into Asia and Europe. It can only be said with 

35.000- 8000 BC 

confidence that by the time of the first inter- 
glacial about half a million years ago they were 
becoming widespread Now for the first time 
questions ot global contemporaneity arise 
There have also been changes in the names and 
status that we ascribe to the fossil men con- 
cerned, and these need some explanation 

Two of the earliest discoveries of men of 
this period were made in Java and in the Chou- 
Kou-Tien caves near Peking, and as a result 
those two characters, Java Man and Peking 
Man, were familiar to most informed adults 
before the Second World War There was also a 
third more shadowy figure, represented only 
by his lower jaw, known as Heidelberg Man. 
Since the war several more fossils of broadly 
the same kind of being have been found and 
once it was decided that all be assigned to the 
same genus, the name Pithecanthropus erectus 
- the Upright Apeman - was given to the genus 
This title is still often used, but v^nth the adjust- 
ment in classification caused by the discovery 
of Homo habihs and other factors, it has been : 
decided to promote the whole breed to the rank | 
of Homo. So the Java, Peking, and Heidelberg 
men, with all their approximate contempor- 
aries, are now most properly referred to as 
Homo erectus. We know from their skeletal 
remains that they lived and hunted in suitable 
areas throughout the Old Wodd from China to 
Germany and in North and East Africa, while 
tool finds suggest an even wider range. Most 
can be dated from about 500,000 years ago and 
on into the second glaciation some 50,000- 
100,000 years later 

It is now thought most probable that Homo 
erectus was descended from the stock of Homo 
habihs. He seems usually to have been taller - 
about five feet in height - and had a larger 
brain, averaging 1000 cc, but with wide 
variation. Yet he still showed the primitive 
features of a low forehead, a massive ridge of 
bone above the eyes, massive and prominent 
teeth, and a lack of chin. 

Of even more significance for the purposes 
of this book is the cultural advance that went 
with the physical evolution of these ancient 
beings. We know from the Chou-Kou-Tien cave 
dwellings that they controlled fire even if they 
could not kindle it. Then in Africa and Europe, 
but not in eastern Asia, Homo erectus seems to 
have been the maker of the first shapely and 
standardized tool. This was the handaxe, a 
weighty, all-purpose implement, which in this 
period was rather roughly flaked but in time 
assumed perfectly proportioned forms combin- 
ing an effective point with cutting edges. 

What makes the handaxe of particular 
interest here is that by the time of its perfection 


Neanderthal skeleton shows 
a short, powerfully built 
individual. The extremities 
are short and the feet, hands 
and fingers are stubby as 
well. While the cranium is 
as large as a modern man 's 
it has a lower, flatter crown 
and bulges at the back and 
sides. The most well-known 
characteristic is the heavy 
connecting bone above the 
eyes which forms a 
prominent brow ridge. In 
addition, the Neanderthals 
had receding chins and 
larger cheeks. 

during the second interglacial, it was being 
manufactured over a truly vast area: from 
South Africa to southern England and from 
England across the southern half of Europe and 
the Near East to India. Here, surely, is the 
earliest argument for diffusion, for an imple- 
ment as distinctive as the handaxe would not 
have been created independently in many 
different places by similarity of need. This view 
is supported by the fact that the area of its 
distribution is coherent, whereas the form was 
unknown in eastern Asia, where stone-working 
was to remain rather crude and backward 
throughout the Old Stone Age. There was, of 
course, a very long time for the diffusion to 
take place, but it is nevertheless astonishing, 
for one would not expect these still primitive 
people to be either mobile (outside their own 
hunting grounds) or communicative. 

The handaxe makers seem generally to 
have lived in open encampments beside rivers 
and lakes. Although their tools ( and there were 
others in the kit besides the handaxe) are 
usually found caught up in the river gravels, 
camp sites are known as far apart as Kenya, 
Spain, and eastern England. They show the 
men to have been great hunters, capable of 
killing even elephants. 

By chances of preservation and discovery, 
fossil remains of the more advanced handaxe- 
makers of the second interglacial and third 
glacial phases are scanty, and the few that we 
have come from Europe. Two of them, from 
Steinheim in Germany and Swanscombe on 
the Thames estuary, showthat by about a quarter 
of a million years ago, the presumeddescendants 
of the more progressive branches of Homo 
eiectus were aheady considerably nearer to 
modem man, with a much slighter brow ridge, 
less prominent teeth, and a brain capacity 
reaching up to the lower limit of Homo sapiens. 
On the other hand, the forehead was still low 
and the skull plates very thick. 

These beings are usually referred to as 
Neanderthaloids, a proj ection backward in time 
from the familiar Neanderthal Man who 
became the dominant breed of the third inter- 
glacial age and the earlier part of the final 
glaciation. Remains of the earliest true Neander- 
thals, those of third interglacial times, have 
been found in Germany, eastern Europe, and 
Israel. Then, for the period after the onset of 
the last glaciation, the number of known fossil 
Neanderthals shoots up to something like a 
hundred individuals. They have been found 
right across Europe, in North Africa, the Near 
East, and Iran, with one outlier in Uzbekistan. 

The popular image of Neanderthal Man 
tends too far towards the apish. Although his 


limb bones were rather heavy and his head set 
far forward on the neck, he certainly did not 
shamble alonj; with bent knees, and there is no 
reason to believe that he hail iniich bovlv hair 
Although he was still somewhat beetle-browed 
and the vault oi the skull was low, its capacity 
was large, allowing a brain size often above the 
modern average Surprisingly, it has turned out 
that the Neanderthal fossils with the less 
primitive features are the more ancient The 
explanation seems to be that one of the more 
nigged strains of Neanderthaler occupied western 
Europe during brutally harsh glacial conditions, 
and under this climatic influence such primitive 
features as heaN'y brow ridges and laws were 
increased. This extreme type then died out 
before the advance of the more intelligent, 
graceful, and well-armed Ihimi sapiens -much 
as the native Tasmanian, the most primitive of 
modem races, succumbed within 7=t years of 
the first European settlement ot his island 

In their culture the Neanderthals made 
some striking advances towards full humanity. 
Their tools and weapons, which had much in 
common throughout all their territories, were, 
hke their persons, strong and a little clumsy. 
The implements were made of thick flakes of 
flint or other stone, but neatly finished with 
fine chipping. Among them were stout scrapers, 
presumably used to prepare skins for garments. 
Warm clothing, together with a hardy physique, 
enabled them to live farther north than the 
handaxe makers. The great advance, however, 
was spiritual; they buried at least some of their 
dead with ceremony. Stone slabs or animal 
horns might be used to demarcate graves, and 
food and implements were laid beside the body. 
So far as we know, this was the first time that 
such rites had been practised, and it can hardly 
be doubted that they manifest a belief in some 
kind of after-life, perhaps springing from a 
heightened sense of individuality. 

Now we have reached our opening date of 
35,000 BC. By this rime, with the last glaciation 
still at its height, the Neanderthalers had been 
dispossessed of their main hunting grounds 
(although a scattering of beetle-browed de- 
scendants seem to have survived for a while in 
outlyingregionssuch asjava and partsof Africa). 
The successful groups of modem human 
beings who supplanted them were the creators 
of highly efficient hunting cultures of a distinc- 
tive style. They are collectively known to 
archaeology as Upper Palaeolithic cultures, but 
so as to avoid the use of too many specialist 
names they will be referred to as Advanced 
Hunting cultures. One of their most character- 
istic features was the production of thin. 

Cromasnon skeleton shows 
J ttiU. strong person with a 
lar^e head The wide face 
encloses a prominent chin. 
J hi^ bridged nose and bi;? 
eyes Except for the fact that 
the head is slightly longer 
and that the brow ndges arc 
more apparent, he cuuld be 
taken for a present-day 

35.000-8000 BC 

This pierced staff, possibly 
a spear-thrower, was made 
from reindeer antler It was 
only one of numerous fme 
carvings found at Mas 
d'Azil. France. 

narrow, parallel-sided "blades" of flint or other 
fine stone as blanks for working up into a 
variety of implements. A second vital innova- 
tion was the manufacture of chisels and gravers 
with sharp, strong cutting edges intended for 
working in bone, antler, and ivory. Increasingly, 
these burins, as they are often called, were used 
not only for shaping specialized tools and 
weapons in organic substances, but also for 
carving and engraving works of art. They are 
the first tools of any complexity designed not 
for direct use but to make other implements; 
they were, in fact, the forerunners of machine 
tools. Because of the outstanding technical im- 
portance of these two innovations, the cultures 
of the Advanced Hunters are sometimes label- 
led "blade and burin" 

We have to approach such gifted and 
dynamic ancestors through their implements 
because in many regions this is all that is left to 
judge them by. But the people who in the 
favourable conditions of southwestern Europe 
were able to create superb works of art must 
have had many other skills and endov«nents. 
We can be sure that they spoke fluent and well- 
developed languages and probably had more 
advanced social systems than any that had 
gone before. We know that they danced and 
had simple flutes, and there can be little doubt 
that they sang and told tribal stories. 

We identify these hunters as belonging to a 
race that is called Cromagnon, after the French 
cave in which their remains were first discover- 
ed. If ever there was a noble savage, Cromagnon 
Man was physically endowed for the role. He 
was tall and well built, with a full, smooth fore- 
head and a long skull that gave him a brain 
capacity much above the present-day average; 
his face was strong, with a narrow nose and 
prominent chin. There could hardly be a greater 
contrast with the more extreme breeds of 
Neanderthaler who not long before had been 
masters of many of the same hunting grounds. 

Where did the Cromagnons and their Ad- 
vanced Hunting tradition originate? There is 
evidence in Africa, the Near East, and Europe 
that men very close to Homo sapiens and pre- 
sumably descended from the more progressive 
Neanderthaloids were already present early in 
the last interglacial age, roughly 120,000 years 
ago. Thus, for a long span of time they were 
living contemporaneously v^th the early 
Neanderthalers and indeed may have borrowed 
cultural ideas from them and perhaps some- 
times interbred v«th them (though this is by no 
means certain). It seems that with the onset of 
the last glaciation the progressive stock of 
Homo sapiens that was to emerge as Cromagnon 
Man was hunting over some genial region not 

adversely affected by the glacial conditions of 
northern latitudes, and was advancing there in 
social and cultural life. 

Where these cradlelands were is still only 
vaguely knovm. Archaeologists can hardly 
commit themselves beyond "somewhere in 
southwest Asia" or "somewhere between the 
east end of the Mediterranean and the moun- 
tains of inner Asia." Among the many pieces of 
evidence that point in that direction, perhaps 
the most important are that primitive items 
from the blade and burin equipment have been 
found in early contexts in the Near East, and 
moreover that radiocarbon dating shows that at 
least two of the true Advanced Hunting cul- 
tiu-es made an earher appearance in western 
Asia, the Levant, and central Europe than in 
western Europe, where they arrived fully 
formed. This order of events can be seen in the 
chart on page 36. There seems little doubt, then, 
that groups of Cromagnons with their progres- 
sive traditions were spreading from orient to 
Occident in the opening millennia of the period 
from 35,000 to 8000 BC. 

This reference to a plinality of "groups" 
needs explanation. In the early days of archae- 
ology, when the existence of this late Old Stone 
Age world was first being revealed in the cave 
dwellings of France and Spain, the excavators 
observed that various groups of distinctive 
flints and bone tools invariably appeared in the 
same relative order in the layers of occupation 
rubbish on the cave floors. They were recog- 
nized as specialized cultural divisions within 
the blade and burin tradition and named after 
the French sites where they were best repre- 
sented. When very similar remains were found 
throughout much of Europe and into Asia, the 
French names were extended to them. Al- 
though later generations of archaeologists have 
preferred to name many more localized cul- 
tures of the period and have questioned 
whether the extension of French nomenclature 
is valid, there still seems good reason to believe 
that widespread similarities of culture do in 
historical truth indicate movements of people 
or contacts among them. Radiocarbon dating 
supported this view when it proved that the 
succession of cultures corresponded to successive 
periods of time (though with some overlapping), 
and that in some instances the succession 
indicated a consistent spread from east to west. 

Here I want to say a few words about the 
more important of these Advanced Hunting 
cultures. The cultural pioneers who began to 
spread through Asia and Europe, encountering 
and perhaps borrov^ang from the Neander- 
thalers in the process, remain such shadowy 
figures that no more need be said of them. It 

Carved batons were made 
by the Croma^nons from 
antler or bone. They were T 
or Y-shaped with a hole 
bored into their widest 
point and were often hig.hlv 
ornamented. No one 
hmcuon has been proved for 
them: they may have served 
as thon^softeners. arrow- 
stiaighteners or for some 
ritual purpose 

A Gra\-ettijn caned ivon 
figunne found at Buret . 
Siberia, shows how the 
hunters clothed themselves 
in the arctic cold The 
individual wears a tailored 
single piece hooded garmen t 
made from skins, the fur 
turned to the outside 

\ their immediate successors, whom we call 
the AuriKnacians, who were the first dynamic 
innovators and ahiiost surelv the first artists 
Thev apixar early m At);hanistan, Iran, and the 
Levant and are thouRht to have spread west- 
ward by way of the Balkans and central Europe. 
lUit they did not cross the IV-'ni-'^-'s 

The Auri>;nacians were followed hy the 
Gravcttians, who made further atlvances in 
specialized hunting gear and in the arts Their 
cultural uaditions were eventually centred in 
central and eastern Europe, particularly in the 
loess lands of the Moravian region and south- 
em Russia, where thev hecame great mammoth 
hunters. Their spread to the west seems to have 
heen in the main by a southerly route, for they 
were strongly established in Greece and Italy 
and it may have been from there that they 
reached southern France and became the 
earliest of the Advanced Hunters in Spain and 
Portugal. Other such hunters with a culture 
akin to the Gravcttian also reached the British 
region at about this time. 

The Gravcttian thrust to the east was even 
more remarkable. They reached the southern 
Urals, where they introduced not only the 
blade and burin technology but also cave paint- 
ing in a style comparable to that practised by 
their contemporaries in the Dordogne 2500 
miles away. This Gravcttian penetration of 
Asia can probably be connected wath the later 
arrival of more Advanced Hunters who appear- 
ed in some numbers in Siberia, round Lake 
Baikal. These people, too, preyed on mammoth 
■and other big game, made small carvings, and 
in general lived in much the same way as their 
precursors to the west. 

It seems to have been the dynamic Gravcttian 
tradition that gave rise to the most brilliant and 
successful of all Advanced Hunting cultures, 
that of the Magdalenians. This was a west 
European group, chiefly at home in the 
territories between the Alps and the Cantabrian 
mountains of Spain, where the finest art of the 
period is found. But the Magdalenians also 
reached Valencian Spain and Britain, and they 
went eastward as far as Moravia. As tool 
makers they were highly inventive, but, above 
all, they developed their art to an extraordinary 
height of feeling and execution. 

The sudden emergence of full human 
creativity among the Advanced Hunters of this 
period at the end of the Old Stone Age is surely 
one of the most astonishing chapters in all our 
history. The Neanderthalers had taken a tenta- 
tive step, but the Cromagnons made a graceful 
leap forward. There are, I think, two explana- 
tions, one material and one mental. The 
material one is simple: the open steppe and 

.15.000 -8000 «C 

tundra of glacial times supported great herds of 
game - bison, reindeer, horse, and mammoth - 
that could be killed by trapping as well as by 
pursuit, tluisotlenngan easy supply of meat, 
and with it abundant leisure And in southwest 
Europe where the climate was rather less harsh 
conditions were ideal for the hunter-artists. As 
for the mental explanation, it is evident that 
after hundreds of thousands of years during 
which the people of each generation normally 
did exactly what their parents had done and 
cultural improvement was extremely slow, the 
Cromagnons began to think in terms of solving 
problems. With this new sense of challenge, 
they invented within a relatively short time the 
spear-thrower and thong-softener, composite 
hafting of flint, a variety of specialized barbed 
spears and harpoons, the eyed needle, a fat- 
burning lamp, and probablv the bow and arrow 

For their dwellings the hunters favoured a 
seasonal use of caves, living at the mouth and 
on terraces just outside. There fires were main- 
tained, and further protection was probably 
secured bv rough walls and skin hangings We 
assume that each cave housed a family group, 
and in ravines where several were within sight 
of one another, there must have been a sense of 
tribal community. One can imagine the scene 
after nightfall when points of firelight glowed 
in the vast, frosty dark In the lighted circle the 
humans ate, talked, mended gear, and told 
stories, while in the outer darkness their 
animal neighbours slept or prowled. 

In the absence of caves, the hunters were 
capable of building snug huts. Those that we 
know most about belonged to the mammoth 
hunters of Moravia and Russia. They were 
roundish or oval, with hearths on sunken 
floors. Sometimes they had low walls built of 
stones or mammoth bones, along with a tented 
roof of skins. Encampments might consist of at 
least half a dozen of these huts, and again we 
assume that each belonged to a family group. 

They dressed well, too. In addition to the 
evidence of a neatly fur-clad figure from 
Siberia, a painting from France shows a man 
wearing a high fur collar with a red garment 
below. Their bone needles also suggest that the 
hunters' clothes were cut and stitched; they 
perhaps approached those of the modem 
Eskimo in excellence. Men even more than 
women loved to ornament themselves with 
necklaces and bracelets of shells, teeth, beads 
of ivory, mother of pearl, and stone. 

Much of this personal finery has been 
found in graves. The Neanderthals' tentative 
care for the dead was intensified among the 
Advanced Hunters. There was still no wish to 
separate the dead from the living, for most 

35.000-8000 BC 

One of a pair of Ih 
reliefs, the Venus of Laussel 
represented an inner vision 
of fertility and motherhood. 

graves were dug in the cave or hut floor The 
bodies, evidently dressed and ornamented, 
were most commonly placed in a crouched 
position, and often covered with red ochre as a 
symbol of life-giving blood. A woman of forty 
(a ripe old age for those days) found in a grave 
in a Moravian hut had been strewn with ochrc; 
her body was facing westward, and it was covered 
by two shoulder blades of a dead mammoth. 

All such details of life and death bring the 
hunters closer to us, but it is their art that stirs 
and unites us. On a subject that has already 
filled scores of books, what should I say in a 
single page? First of all I must point out that this 
was essentially a European art, and I hope I 
shall not be accused of racism if I find it re- 
markable that there was nothing savage about 
it, but that it reflected a heightened realism 
that was truly humane. Historically, it seems 
that although the Aurignacians had no art in 
their Asiatic cradlelands, in the west they were 
the first to make simple animal drawings and 
carvings that included some human subjects. 
These first essays at representation can be dated 
to 25,000 BC or even earlier With the Gravet- 
tians, accomplishment, particularly in sculp- 
ture, became much greater They made some 
delightful animal figures in realistic style, but 
their most characteristic products were female 
figurines in bone, ivory or stone, showing 
enormous breasts, bellies, buttocks and thighs. 
These little carvings were made over most of 
the Gravettian range from Italy and the 
Pyrenees to the Don. Some strike us as grotes- 
que; others have beauty. Essentially, unlike the 
animal portraits, they came from an inner 
vision of fertility and motherhood. In this 
sense, they can be said to be the first evolved 
religious symbols; it might not be wrong to call 
them idols. Their religious meaning is well 
brought out in a pair of Gravettian relief carv- 
ings (found at Laussel in the Dordogne), one of 
which portrays a slender young man, the other 
an opulent but faceless female holding a bison 
horn. The continuity of meaning and emotion 
between these works and the "Mother God- 
dess" figures of New Stone Age and even his- 
toric times can hardly be denied. 

Sculpture and engraving among the 
Advanced Hunters were raised to their greatest 
heights by the Magdalenians. They were 
equally masters whether working on a large 
scale or small, on engravings, reliefs, or in the 
round. Some of their most exquisite carving 
was on their implements, where it must have 
been done mainly for aesthetic pleasure. 

The cave paintings for which the Advanced 
Hunters are most famous are very largely con- 
centrated in southwest France, the French 

Pyrenees, and the Cantabrian moimtains of Spain. 
They are difficult to date precisely. Not long 
ago, there was a shift of opinion from the 
original view that there was a Gravettian and a 
Magdalenian cycle, and now almost all cave 
paintings are attributed to the Magdalenians. 
The recent discovery, however, of an outlying 
group of paintings in Gravettian territory in 
the south Urals seems to prove that the earlier 
hunters did in fact use pigments with some 
skill. There is still no question that it was the 
Magdalenians who painted the great master- 
pieces, including those in the two supreme 
sanctuaries of Lascaux and Spanish Altamira. 
The art seems to extend over the five thousand 
years of their prosperity (c. 15,000-10,000 BC|, 
with a grovkdng technical mastery that culminated 
in the polychrome style of Altamira. 

The Advanced Hunting Age of Europe came 
to a glorious end in this earliest outburst of 
artistic creation. There was to be no other to 
approach it before the Old Kingdom art of 
Egypt some seven thousand years later 

I must now show how the Advanced Hunt- 
ing cultures of Eurasia relate in time to the first 
human penetration of the Americas and Aus- 
tralia. Both events almost certainly took place 
within this early period. It has recently been 
established that there were men in Australia by 
20,000 BC, contemporary with late Gravettian 
times in Eurasia. This has aroused general sur- 
prise, for even at the height of glaciation it 
would have been necessary to make a sea cross- 
ing between Borneo and the Celebes. Wherever 
they came from, having made the passage these 
hunters held to a Stone Age type of culture 
until European settlement and in a few areas 
until today. The indigenous Australians also 
retain such archaic physical features as long 
skulls, strongly marked brow ridges and large, 
often prominent teeth. 

The problem of the peopling of America is 
both more difficult and more significant. I will 
set it out as simply as I can. No fossil remains of 
Neanderthal or earlier beings have come to 
light anywhere in the continent. The descend- 
ants of the pre-Columbian peoples, despite 
local variation, are predominantly of a mon- 
goloid racial type. The fact that their blood 
groups show virtually none of B, and in some 
regions 100% O, strongly suggests that they 
derive from a small, homogeneous ancestral 
group likely to have entered America at only 
one time. It is generally agreed that the pioneers 
would have crossed from Siberia to Alaska, and 
most probably during a period when there was 
an ice-free land bridge uniting them. These 
ideal conditions probably prevailed twice dur- 
ing the final glaciation: between 24,000 and 

18,(XX) BC and again from 1(),(XX)-9(XX) HC The 
earliest reliably established remains ai human 
beings and their cultures date from 1(),(XX), 
corresponding to the last phase of the Mag- 
dalenian in Europe These people were big- 
game hunters, and are mainly identified for us 
by various types of well-made stone spear- 
heads, "projectile points." (American archae- 
ology classifies these cultures after the charac- 
teristics of the projectile points - e.g. Clovis, 
.Sandia and Folsom.) 

From all the above facts, it would seem 
nearly certain that the first immigrants crossed 
the land bridge either towards the end of its 
earlier existence or immediately it opened for 
the second time. Unfortunately |if I mav be 
allowed unscientific sentiments), in many 
places in both North and South America crude- 
ly flaked tools have been found that have an 
earlier "look" than the projectile-point cultures. 
Most of these are scattered surface finds, but 
here and there people have claimed to find 
hearths or other signs of human occupation in 
the vicinity and have dated their finds as con- 
temporary with Old World Aurignacians or 
even before. No single "prcprojectilc" site has 
stood up to careful testing, but the cumulative 
effect has been enough to convince some 
reasonable people that the first Americans had 
arrived by the beginning of the long period I 
have been discussing (i.e. 35,{XX) BC). 

As for the spread of these big-game hunters 
of late glacial times, they seem to have peopled 
the vast continent with remarkable speed. The 
main corridor, after a swift traverse of Alaska, 
was by way of the High Plains, then through 
Mesoamerica (where in Mexico, as in the 
north, slaughtered mammoths have been found, 
together vdth the spearheads that killed them), 
on through the tropics to reach the southern 
cold of the Strait of Magellan by 9000-8(XX) BC. 
It is a truly remarkable story, for the impetus 
that drove a tiny population of hunters from 
arctic to antarctic verge can only have been the 
curiosity, the irresistible urge to find out what 
lay beyond that range, that jungle, that great 
river. Surely, too, it is another proof of the 
possibilities of diffusion, and a justification for 
believing in the reality of the wide spread of the 
Advanced Hunting groups of Eurasia. 

The last two thousand years of the Ice Age 
were the end of one epoch, but they also saw 
the first stirrings of another Over much of 
Europe the melting of the ice and the invasion 
of open pasture by forest and by water were to 
force big changes upon the descendants of the 
Advanced Hunters. These climatic changes 
also enabled some to move northward wath the 
reindeer and occupy new hunting grounds in 

35.000 -8CXX)HC 

Denmark and northern Germany 

In the Mediterranean lands of southern 
Europe and in the Near East, changes in climate 
were less extreme, allowing a gradual evolution 
of Gravettian and other Advanced Hunting 
traditions Yet in spite of such regional differ- 
ences, the late glacial and post-glacial phase of 
our history has enough coherence to be treated 
as a more or less distinct cultural period. This 
cultural period has been called the Middle 
Stone Age (Mesolithic) as coming between the 
Old Stone Age (I'alaeolithic) and the New 
Stone Age (Neolithic). 

The coherence appears mainly in a shift 
from dependence on big game to the hunting 
of many smaller animals, fishing, fowling, and 
an increased consumption of wild vegetable 
foods. With this came a common trend in the 
way the hunters made their tools and weapons 
Small flints had already been made by Gravet- 
tians and others for multiple hafting, but now 
the knappers contrived to make most of their 
flints so minute that one marvels at their skill. 
Why men made this change to the use of 
"microliths" at approximately the same time 
over many regions of Eurasia and Africa is a 
puzzling question. As usual, some of us prefer 
a diffusionist explanation, while others find 
the answer in their belief that similar responses 
are independently produced by similar needs. 

The Mesolithic or Late Hunting cultures 
began early in the Near East (including the 
western slopes of the Zagros range). Here 
microliths and grinders for wild cereals were in 
use by about 13,000 BC. It was in the Levant 
that beginnings such as these led to a full Late 
Hunung culture, the Natufian, which provides 
a perfect example of a way of life intermediate 
between that of the hunter and the farmer It 
almost exactly coincides with the two millen- 
nia that ended the Ice Age, U),(XXJ-8(KX) BC, 
and therefore with the decline of the Mag- 
dalenians in the west and the spread of the 
projectile-point hunters through the Americas. 

The Natufians chose to live where the an- 
cestors of wheat and barley grew wild, and their 
equipment of reaping knives, querns, pestles, 
and mortars proves that they harvested the 
grain in quantity. It is also possible that they 
added to their meat supply by herding gazelles. 
Population grew with food supplies, and so did 
a more settled way of life. We know of Natufian 
villages with up to fifty huts, large cemeteries 
tell the same story. Yet they had no domesti- 
cated plants or animals, no pottery or weaving, 
and they still relied on hunting small game for 
much of their diet. The old tradition of realistic 
animal art and personal finery lingered on 
among them 

Technology 3S WO -8000 BC 

In the thousands of years before the opening of 
this period, people had exploited a wide range 
of natural materials. Stone, bone, antler, shell, 
ivory and wood were utilized as well as more 
perishable sources such as bark, vegetable 
fibres, animal hair and tendons. But it was the 
Advanced Hunters who might be said to have 
developed the first "toolkit". 

Among their implements were knives for 
general cutting, scrapers for cleaning hides, 
burins or gravers for working bone, and pro- 
jectile points for arrows or lances. Throughout 
most of the world these tools were skilfully 
shaped by fine flaking on flint blades which had 
been struck from carefully prepared cores. 
Various techniques involved blunting sharp 
edges to prevent unintentional injury, edge- 
trimming and shallow surface flaking. Sur- 
prisingly, grinding was first used in Australia 
where the earlier technique of crude flaking of 
core nodules was retained. Later on, throughout 
many areas of the world, the development of 
microliths coupled with the technique of haft- 
ing for composite tools added yet more variety 
and flexibility to implements. 

The Advanced Hunters worked antler, bone 
and ivory systematically for the first time. 
Flaking, splintering, polishing and perforation 
were used to make a variety of weapon-heads, 
ornaments, awls, batons, harpoons, toggles, 
spear-throwers, needles and other skin-working 
tools. Bone and ivory objects were occasionally 
decorated with incised geometrical patterns. 

The appearance of several items such as the 
spear-thrower and bow (implied by the arrow- 
heads) show that eariy man made use of simple 
scientific principles to increase his effective- 
ness as a hunter These long-distance weapons 
were among the most significant material 
achievements of the time. 

Fire had been known since much earlier for 
warmth, light, cooking and as a weapon against 
animals. In this period its ability to transform 
certain materials became apparent. Figurines 
of baked clay have been discovered in 
Czechoslovakia along with evidence of the first 
use of coal as a fuel. 

Most travel was by foot but boats of a sort 
were certainly in use before 8000 BC as there 
are proven contacts with offshore islands. 

Although this inirial technology was cer- 
tainly limited, it did allow societies to develop 
and prosper to the point where at least a few of 
them could produce masterpieces of cave art. 
What is so striking about this technology 
is its comparative uniformity and slow rate of 
progress over the greater part of the world. 


The Americas 

SkiJfully flaked flint projectile 
points which tipped hunting 
spears and darts were 
characteristic of the Advanced 
Hunters of the New World The 
use of traps and nets was 
already known in this period 

Western Mediterranean 

Fine and varied work in fhnt as 
well as bone was common to 
parts of this area Perforated 
implements for working thongs 
to suppleness show that 
organic materials were also 
exploited at this time. 


J EgvplAfrica 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Western Meditenanean 

Continental Europe 

Stone Copper Bronze Iron 


Continenul Europe 
Advanced huntiiiganJ fishing 
equipment of stone, bone jnd 
anticr !.uch js the spcir 
thrower and fowling tork 
were widespread in central and 
eastern Europe Lamps and 
palettes were used in France to 
assist in cave decoration 

Eastern Mcditcnancan 
As well as the more common 
huntingtoolsof the period, 
reaping knives and sickle flints 
for intensive collection of wild 
grain have been found Bone 
was skdfullv employed for 
ornaments and tools 


Crudelv flaked hunting and 
food gathenng equipment 
persisted ilirmigtiiiut further 
Asia The crudeness is more 
marked through the islands 
and into the Ausiralian 


Iran - India 

The sickle handle, reaping 
knife and whetstone indicate 
the presence of Late Hunters. 

Egypt/ Africa 
Competent flinrwork and 
some use of bone was wide- 
spread throughout this area. 


Stone querns and mortars 
indicate that wild grain on the 
hill slopes was harvested. A 
higlily competent use of bone 
is indicated by the comb and 
pierced needle 

35,000-8000 BC 


The comb irom Mureybet 
shows that Advanced 
Hunting peoples were 
skilled in the art of bone 
carving. The stone mortar, 
found together with car- 
bonized grain not native to 
this lowland area, suggests 
that Mureybet at least was 
very close to food produc- 
tion by 8000 BC - well in 
advance of the people of 
the flood plain further 
dovmstream- They still 
relied on hunting, however, 
for most of their food 


Progressively smaller tools, 
including composite ones 
such as the projectile, have 
been found on the 
Mediterranean coast. But 
beyond the Sahara a heavier 
flint mdustry as evidenced 
by the blade continued 
until much later 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Evidence left by the 
Natufians who settled in 
this area suggests that they 
made use of natural grains 
although no remains have 
been found. Sickle blades 
were usually set in bone 
handles. Naturalistic por- 
traits of animals were 
carved occasionally on 
these implements. 

' Carved sickle handle 

Western Mediterranean 

In this area, as in many 
others, composite tools 
containing a number of 
flint blades (or microliths) 
variously set into a wooden 
or bone haft, became a 
feature after the great game 
herds of the last Ice Age 
dwindled. Among them was 
the reaping knife used fur 
harvesting wild grains. 
Other tools were used in 
smaller game hunting. Bone 
was employed for such tools 
as needles and points. 

Reaping knife 

M § 

Continental Europe 

The cave art of France and 
Spain brought with it tech- 
nological advances sug- 
gested by the palette and 
stone lamps. The pictures 
themselves may have been 
regarded as necessary for 
the fertility of the game and 
forthe success of the 
hunters in bringing it down. 
The bone spear-thrower 
undoubtedly helped too. It 
worked on the lever prin- 
ciple and increased the 
throwing range of the 

Iran - India 

Advanced Hunters along 
the Zagros and Elburz 
ranges shared with their 
western neighbours the 
technique of intensive 
exploitation of the wild 
food resources as illustrate 
by the reaping knife and 

Palette •i.nndm^.stunL 
and pigments 

Far East 

A competent but unexciting 
technology is evident in the 
stone blade. Even the 
greater emphasis on shell- 
fish as a maior food 
resource called for no special 
advances in material equip- 
ment, though It allowed the 
early development of 
permanent settlements. 

The Americas 

The hunting equipment of 
the early settlers, although 
lacking in variety, was skil- 
fully and efficiently made. 
The pressure-flaked pro- 
lectde points, mostly 
surface finds, have been 
classified according to theu- 
method of production, 
buch as the Clovis and 
Folsom points below. 


Fulsum puint 

Flint technology 

Flint ha!> two ilistmctivc 
chardctcristic» compared 
wjtli most other stono. 
Due to Its micro'CrystjIlmc 
structure it h*> no "grain" 
andsocdnsplit in any 
direction, and it fractures to 
a verv sharp edxc These 
properties were recognized 
very early, making it the 
preferred stone wherever it 

was available lor tiaked 
tools Blows Irom a tougher 
hammerstonc detached 
llakes which were them- 
selves used to make tools, 
or fashioned the core to 
some desired tool form To 
control the process, the 
knapper used hammers of 
different weight or material, 
ahered the strength and 
direction of his blows, and 

applied pressure to the core 
to control the run of the 
cleavage In some areas the 
flint was baked to improve 
Its flaking qualities Trim- 
ming, or secondary work- 
ing, was often carried out 
bv pressure, using a bone or 
stone pt>int to push off 
small spalls of flint to give 
a finished shape and 
surface to the tool 

Bone, anilcr, ivory 

These materials are less 
hard than stone bui more 
resilient, and requiic differ- 
ent techniques tor working 
Ooubtless the earliest tech- 
niques involved the 
splintering of the h<mc 
refuse of meals Later a flint 
graver or hurin |a loo! with 
a stout chisel-like working 
edge! was used to separate a 

35.000 -81XX)BC 

sliver of bone or antler bv 
grooving and levering The 
principal technique, how- 
ever, was grinding The 
splinter was worked up and 
down against a bl(x:k of 
abrasive sandstone or 
similar material until all 
irregularities had been 
smoothed away Needles as 
well as harpoons and mat- 
tocks were made this way 


A later development was to 
divide the blades into 
smaller segments or micro- 
liths Notches were chipped 
in the sides of blades 
facilitating their removal by 
twisting These microliths 
^iiuld then be trimmed to 
simple, often geometric 
shapes The main advantage 
was that these could be 
mounted more adaptably in 
hone or wooden hafts, and 
replaced individually 
whenever they became 
worn or damaged By this 
means, arrows and 
harpoons could be given 
a wide range of barbed 
shapes; sickles and reaping 
knives could have easily 
renewable cutting edges. 

Finiihing is completed on a sandstone block, a smooth 
poLsh am be achieved and the tip sharpened 

35,000-8000 BC 

Architecture 35,000-8000 BC 

Early man's nomadic hunting life did not en- 
courage permanent settlements. People most 
likely made do with scanty shelters which they 
constructed for protection against rain and sun. 
Rock shelters with overhanging ledges and 
caves were utilized but probably formed only a 
very small proportion of residences. The 
control of fire was necessary to empty deep 
caves of predators and in many regions caves 
were rare or non-existent. 

Later, the Advanced Hunters made much 
greater use of caves. Sheher was necessary for 
survival in the harsh conditions of the last Ice 
Age and caves were a convenient source. 
Surprisingly their use was only seasonal even 
at this time. However, we know more about 
cave dwellings than any contemporaneous hut 
because they are so easily found. While their 
inhabitants might have made only minimal 
structural changes (such as the addition of 
hearths and wind-breaks), the food refuse, 
discarded tools and by-products.of flint and 
bone working found on cave floors furnish us 
with most of our archaeological evidence in 
this early period. 

Few of the earliest man-made structures 
have survived. But some early buildings have 
been uncovered, notably in Eastern Europe and 
Palesrine.The hide and bone huts of the 
mammoth hunters and the twig and daub ones in 
the more temperate climates exhibit a surpris- 
ing sophistication. On their evidence we would 
probably be safe in assuming that huts were 
built in all inhabited areas. 

It is difficult, however, to evaluate these 
buildings as architecture. Until more have been 
discovered and investigated we are unable to 
speculate accurately on the relationship of 
these structures to their surroundings. Were 
those buildings the end products of long de- 
velopment within their respective societies or 
was each a response to the immediate problems 
of the community the site, and the available 
raw materials? Whatever the answer, these huts, ' 
poor though their remains are, were the true 
beginnings of architecture. 

The Americas 

Natural caves are the onJy 
known dwelling sites in the 
New World at this time. 
Though there must have been 
temporary camps m the open, 
they have yet to be found. 

Western Mediterranean 

Caves were used extensively, 
being widely distributed m 
the limestones of the area. 



Eastern Mediterranean 
Western Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 
Iran -India 
Far East 


Contincnul Europe 
Some examples ot Cent like 
huu hjvc been found m central 
and eastern Europe and similar 
structures must have been 
much more widely distributed 
than the few excj\ jted ex- 
amples suggest. There is 
evidence for this in the huts 
occasionally depicted in cave 



Egypt/ Africa 

Good examples of occupied 
caves are known from the 
Mediterranean coastlands, but 
they occur much less widely 
south of the Sahara As no 
buildings survive, we can only 
guess at huts 

Fat East 

Scattered examples of 
elaborate tent like huU have 
been found as far as central 
Asia There must have been 
others, perhaps ot different 
materials throughout the 
region. A few occupied caves 
are known from Australia 


Eastern Mediterranean 

Natural caves arc quite 
common here, and built huts 
arc also known in the Natufian 
area of Palestine and Syria 
These huts had cu-cular stone 
footings with light super- 
structures, probably of twigs 
and daub 


No caves are present in the 
plains and the scanty evidence 
that exist* suggests light 
shelters ot reeds as the likeliest 

R«J Khchet 

Iran -India 

Both caves and huts are known 
along the line of the Zagros 
between Iran and Iraq. The huts 
were probably of stone with a 
perishable covenng as in the 
Eastern Mediterranean 

35.000 - 8000 BC 


Little trace of dweliings has 
been found, but flimsy 
structures of reeds and mud 
were possibly erected in the 
lower valley 

We have no evidence of 
man-made buildings in the 
African comment at this 
early period. 

Eastern Mediterranean 

More permanent dwellings 
became general as intensive 
food collection and game 
herding made food supplies 
more reliable. At Natufian 
sites in Palestine like Eynan 
I Ain Mallaha) circular huts 
26ft. (8m.) across were dug 
3ift. |lm.) deep and faced 
with rubble. The floor was 
at least occasionally stone- 
paved and the walls coated 
with plaster. The form of 
the roof is largely guess- 

m -a 

Western Mediterranean 

Caves were widely used but 
built huts of this period 
have yet to be identified in 
the area. Certain cave 
paintings strongly imply 
their existence. 

Continental Europe 

In the arctic conditions of 
the time, timber was very 
scarce and the excavated 
huts of Moravia and south- 
em Russia were constructed 
mainly of skins. Oval 
hollows were dug into the 
ground and many large 
bones and teeth, usually of 
mammoth, were used to 
weight down the hide roof. 
A central hearth served for 
cooking and heating. Some 
of the investigated 
examples are up to 98ft. 
(30m. I long, with a row of 
hearths down the centre. 
This suggests that a number 
of individual families lived 
as a community under a 
single roof, each family 
having its own fireplace. 

Iran - India 

Scanty traces remain of 
earlier huts but after 8000 
BC oval and circular stone 
structures with coverings 
of wattle and daub, reeds or 
matting were found in Zavri 
Chemi. The earlier huts are 
assumed to have been 

Far East 

The only known buildings 
of this date are in Siberia, 
particularly Mal'ta and 
Buret' near Lake Baikal. 
Their similarity to the huts 
of European Russia clearly 
indicates some kind of link 
or diffusion. 

The Americas 

There is no evidence of 
man-made buildings in this 




Mmnmotb bone hut. Mezh 

Wattle Lind daub huts 



■1 1 


Skm and bone houses. Siberia 

35.000- 8000 BC 


ojves held obvious attrac 
tions for early peoples. 
Hearths of loose stones were 
constructed on the outside 
terrace for cooking and the 
fire alsoserved toguard 
against predators. Simple 
windbreaks of branches 
and skins could be built 
near the entrance for 
further protection in 
inclement weather. 

icrCaxc. Utah. USA 

35.000 -8000 BC 

Alt 35,000- 8000 BC 

Of all the outbursts of artistic genius that have 
enlivened the course of human history, this 
first one is surely the most astonishing. The 
Advanced Hunters of the late Old Stone Age 
were the originators of representational art. 
Before them some early tools, notably the 
handaxe, show a sense of form, and the 
Neanderthals made circular hoUows on stone 
surfaces. That, so far as we know, was all. 

About ten thousand years after modem 
peoples (Homo sapiens) had displaced the 
Neanderthalers and spread through habitable 
parts of Asia and Europe they began their 
careers as artists. It is possible that the 
Aurignacian people in western Europe led the 
way with some simple works, but this is very 
doubtful. The earliest more surely dated 
representations were made by the Advanced 
Hunting people known as the Gravettians. 
What are probably the oldest examples, 
25,000 BC or earher, come from eastern and 
central Europe. 

The Gravettians made some lively animal 
carvings, but their speciality was small 
figurines of women in stone, ivory, bone or 
clay Often they have very full thighs, buttocks, 
breasts and bellies, while faces, arms and feet 
are sketchy or lacking. The "Venuses" as they 
have been called, can be seen as the earliest 
religious symbols, since they seem to express a 
timeless sense of motherhood and fecundity 
The Gravettians introduced their art mto 
western Europe, where the true flowering came 
vdth their probable descendants, the 
Magdalenians, principally in southwest France, 
the French Pyrenees and Cantabrian Spain. 
Although they were gifted sculptors and small 
carvers, their great achievement was in the 
development of painting between 15,000 and 
10,000 BC. They kept powdered ochre, 
haematite and manganese in bone tubes and 
apphed it moist with brush, pad or blowpipe. 

Most of the paindngs were made in the 
depths of caves, far from the hearth and living 
place. They served for hunting magic, but also 
manifested a reverence for the game animals - 
and surely gave pleasure to the artists. 

Towards the end of the period this art of 
the Advanced Hunters declined, then almost 
entirely disappeared, although here and there 
faint traces of it survived among the Late 
Hunting (Mesohthic) peoples. 

The Americas 

There is no evidence that the 
big game hunters of the period 
practised any art. 

Western Mediterranean 

The cave art ot the French 
Pyrenees, Cantabna and 
southern Spain is assigned to 
this region but in general 
differs little from that of 
south vifest France and the 
Rhone. Nearly all the fine 
pamtmgs and engravings were 
made by Magdalenians, 
15,000- 10,000 BC. The 
Spanish cave of Altamira is 
Lascaux's only rival, its 
magnificent polychrome 
paintmgs are later, c. 12,000 BC. 
There is an outlymg group of 
engravings in Sicily and 
Apulian Italy 

.35.000 -SflOOBC' 

Contincnul Euiupc 

rhc IXudoKnt rcKion of Frjncc 

hj> Crjvcttuii >culp(uri' jnd 

in>;ravm|{> Jjiinx trmn jttcr 

about :().IK)()Bl, bill l^ nuiinlv 

Ijnioii.s lor lt^ sii|H tl> ivniiiinj; 



obiects .\l. work i-.(i<pii^ 

lltmiOlil^ l.l^L.IUtCOIlUln^ 

the lifiiM p.iintm>;>o{ all 
I ticiii; dju iroiii soon after 
IS.lKX) lnccnir..l.indcast 
Europe ineluding^outh 
Kii^Ma Cravcttian female and 
.inimal tijEunncs predominate 

Far Eau 

Tlie moM ea»tcrly known cave 
paintinK*! of the pcrKul arc in 
the Kap<ivaLave mthe 
Miuthern Ural mountain-. In 
the region ol Siln-rian Lake 
Baikal, Advanced Hunters 
with a culture akin to the 
Cravettian carved slender 
tixures, inostlv female and 
bird forms These may 
111- relatively late however 


Eastern Mcditcnancan 

The art of the Advanced 
Hunters is represented only by 
a lew animal enjtravmgs on 
rocks and pebbles in south 
Anatolia In the Levant, 
particularlv Palestine, the Late 
Huiuersot the Nat ulian culture 
made excellent carvings ol 
animals on the handles of 
implements and shaped 
decorative beads 

Egypt/ Africa 

Rather rough engravings of 
game animals arc found on 
exposed rocks, mostly in 
Upper Egypt, and some may 
well date from this period 


Although Advanced Hunters 
were present in Iran from early 
times, there is no evidence that 
they created works of an, 


This region wasoutsidethe J 
of the Advanced Hunting 
cultures and their an 

35.000 -8000 BC 


No Advanced Hunters 
inhabited this area. 

Egypt/ Africa 
Except for questionable 
rough rock engravings, 
there is no recognizable 
art in this area. 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The Late Hunters of the 
Natufian culture decorated 
their implement handles 
with animal carvings as 
can be seen on page 26. 

Western Mediterranean 

Among the many caves in 
Cantabna vnth paintings 
and engravings, that of 
Altamira is by far the finest. 
The roof is crov^fded with 
paintings of bison and other 
animals in the polychrome 
style that was the culmina- 
tion of Magdaleniau art 
|c 12,000 BC|. In the 
southern French group 
the Venus of Lespugue i-- 
one of the most highly 
stylized and beautiful ot 1 1 
Gravettian figurines. Thi i 
are many engravings on 
implements and plaques 
the composition of stag;. 
and salmon on bone from 
Lortet is deep-cut, the 
turning of the stag's head 
well conveyed. 

Venus of Lespugue 
ivory, France 

Engravmgot stags 

Contincnul Europe 

Ann>n({ the iiunv tmc relief 
C4rvinK!> on cave walls or 
stones in the Dor Joj^ne 
firoup, the woman holding 
a bison horn |Cravettianl is 
of greatest mttre>i An 
associated relier porttav> j 
youth, and the twi> together 
sufcxest the beginiiinj; ot a 
long-lived tertilitv cult The 
yellow paint on the Lascaux 
horse may have been 
sprayed on The leathered 
dots suggest hunting magic 
c I^.OIWBC The horses ol 
PechMerleshow an 
experiment in the decura 
tive use ot dabs ot colour 
The silhouettes ot hands 
were made by spraying 
paint round a hand held on 
the cave wall The impon- 
ant group of Cra vcttian 
figunncs from central and 
eastern Europe is 
represented by the famous 
Venus ot Willendort, the 
concentration on material 
symbolism at the expense 
of face, arms and teet is 
typical The vigorous little 
horse and mammoth trom 
Vogclhcrd are good 
examples of east 
Cravettian animal 
sculpture, perhaps before 

Veniu of Willendoii. 
stone. Austria. 

35.000- 8000 BC 

No works of art from this 
area have been found 

far Last 

I he Uials mark the 
boundary between Europe 
.ind Asia Since the Kapova 

.ive IS in this range and to 

K east ot the nea 
1 , 
can be included in this 
region fhe paintings arc 
large, rough monochnmu 
paintings ot mammoths, a 
liorseanda rhinoceros 
I he lean figurines and bird 
-culpture from the Lake 
Baikal area complete all the 
known art of this region. 

Painted horses with negatives ot hands. PechMerle. hranc 

35.000-8000 BC Summary Chart 

Region Economy 

Events and developments 




The region had no Advanced Hunters. 
Late Hunters entered fringe of region from 
north and south and possibly cultivated 
wild cereals. 

Egypt/ Ahica 

Kalambo Falls 
Bambata Cave 

Hunters in Egypt and £. Africa from 
c. 18,000 with some elements of Advanced 
traditions. In most regions hunters and 
food gatherers adapted to different 

Eastern Meditenanean 


^ Kl 

Haua Ftcah 

Wadi an Natuf 

Advanced Hunters along N. African coast 
by 35,000 and in the Levant by 32,000. 
Late Hunting and plant collecting people 
throughout region c 10,000-8000. 


Western Meditenanean 

Addaura (Palermo) 

Advanced Hunters in Italy and Iberia by 
30,000. Elements of Advanced Hunters 
along N. African coast Lnte Hunters 
t hroughout region by 8000. 

Continental Europe 

La Gravette 
La Madelein 


Advanced Hunters arrive by c.33,000, 
probably from east. Various later groups 
create prosperous and progressive 
cultures. Hunters advanced into 
W. Germany, Denmark 9000. 



Zarzi (Kurdistan) 

Zawi Chemi 
-] Banderawela (Ceylon) 

J Ali Kosh 

Advanced Hunters in south Zagros from 
c.34,000. They begin to develop 
Late cultures by 15,000. True Late 
Hunters in Iran by 10,000, in India 


Mal'ta (Lake Baikal) 

J I 


^\ i 

(Upper cave) 


\. ) 

V ^ 






The Americas 


<^' ^^ 



Kl 1 


Advanced Hunters spread into Siberia 
c. 12,000 and possibly N. China. Japan 
first settled 11,000. Australia c.20,000. 

First men may have entered via 
Siberia-Alaska by 25,000, but none 
certain before 10,000. Big-game hunters. 
Extreme south reached by 9000. 

The economy bar graph indicates 

relative proportions of these factors : IrrigatK 

iSS Agriculture^' Hunting 1^ Urban hfeiS Trade 4?^ 

35.000-8000 BC 


Technology and inventions 



Late HuntiiiKC4Uipn>cm with micro 
liths jnd polished bone tool* Fishmgj 
heavy picks and axes Ovens, mortars 
Bone needles and combs 

huts ol rammed mud Rectangular 
houses behire 8000; 

Rare tigurines Some Late Hunting 
period cave art by Upper Euphrates' 

Chipped (lake tools and weapons with 
Advanced blade types m East Late 
Huntinn equipment with microliths 
widespread ahcrc 10,000 

Some cave dwelling* Tr«n»iem camp*. 

Hunter*' rock engraving*. 

Dead buncd with 
ornaments, head- 
dresses, beads, etc 
m Late period 

Advanced Hunting equipment with 
blades WUd grain collecting with 
microliths and grinders by I-?,IXX) 
Late Hunting and tishing Vcrv 
progressive Mortars, querns, reaping 
knives, ornaments. 

Caves with outside terraces. Round 
or oval huts with hearths and paving 
mortar in groups of up to fifty from 
end of Advanced through Late periods 

Naturalistic small sculpture in the 
round and on implement handles Rock 
engravings in S E Anatolia 

For Advanced period 
probably veneration 
ot animals HuntinK 
magic as in Europe 
Ceremonial bunal 

Advanced Hunting equipment and 
bone tools Bow and arrow in Spain by 
Is.lXX). Late Hunting equipment with 

Only cave dwellings as yet known for 
Advanced penod. Windbreak in Iberia 
during Late period. 

Cave engravings in S luly and Sicily. 
Animal cave paintings and engravings in 
N Iberia Engravings and painting on 

Fertility cult with 

"goddess" figures 
Veneration of 
animals wth rues 
suggesting totcmism 
Shamans- Hunting 
magic. Ceremonial 

Advanced Hunting equipment with a 

Harpoons, spcar-throwers, thong- 
softeners. Lamps, paint cases. 

Cave dwelUngs. Oblong, skin- 
covered huts with sunken floors, 
hearths, and stone or mammoth bone 
walling in E. Europe. 

Cave painting, engraving and rehef 
carving. Modelled sculpture in round 
and engraved implements in S. Central 
and S. France Female statuettes in 
E. Europe. 

Advanced Hunting equipment with 

blades. Microlithic tools plentiful 

by 15,000. Late cultures in Central India 

Cave dwellings and transient 
encampments. Round huts with stone 
foundations by 9000. 

By Late period cave paintings m Central 

with some microliths in semi-precious 

In Siberia probably Chipped flake implements of older 

much as in Europe tradition with some Intrusion of 

Advanced equipment Fur clothing with 
leggings, tunic and caps. 

Oblong skin-covered huts with sunken 
floors, heanhs and a walling of stones 
and mammoth bones in Siberia. China, 
japan unknown. 

Human and bird ligurines. Animal cave 
paintings in Urals. 

Early rough flake tools? Finely flaked 
spearheads of various types from 
10,000 Spear throwers Little use of 
bone and no microliths 

Cave dwelUngs. Transient 

• • ^ 

♦ " # 

A A A 

v> ■». 

f^ A /> A n,-^ .01 


Reconstruction of a stags head found ma niche in the wall 
of a shrine at (^atal Hiiyiik. TUrkey. Such animal paintings 
were rituahstic. the stag being an attribute of a deity rather 
than a god Itself 

The k\Klin>; events ot this period concern the domestication ot plants 
and annuals ni the Near East, followed by the further elaboration of 
mixed farming;, its gradual spread westward and the development of 
crafts such as pottin)" and spinniiiK tor woven textiles that accompanieii 
the more settleil a);riciiltiiral lite Together these chan>;es comprise 
what has been calleil the Neohthic Kcvoliiliiin, a gradual revolution to 
he sure, hut one ot j;reai importance tor it provided the necessary 
toundation for the growtli of civilization Ilus present pernid in fact 
covers the greater part ot the New Stone Age or Neolithic culture. 
Stone, hone anti wooil remain the only materials for all implements, but 
the >;riiidiii>; ami polishiiij; ot new forms, such as hoes and axes, is 
another technological advance of the time. 

From our point ot view the period has further significance. 
Although in the previous period there were progressive areas where 
Atlvanceil and Late Hunters hatl a far higher achievement than that of 
other peoples, all people throughout the then inhabited parts ot the 
world ilepeiuled upon the hunting and gathering ot natural foods - 
.iiiimal and vegetable. In this period that degree of unity was ended for 
ever. By the sixth miUemum BC some men were beginning to control 
nature, to establish substantial villages and even towns of a sort with 
their fields and pasture, and to change the characters of the once wild 
animals and plants. The rest of mankind, however, remained hunters 
and food gatherers. Ever since this time peoples in different parts of the 
world have lived on increasingly different material bases, the techno- 
logical van accelerating, the archaic rear dwindling but little changed. 
Now we have supersonic flight and the stone-tipped arrow. 

I have already described how by the end of glacial times Late Hunt- 
ing peoples in the Near East (typified by the Natufians), though still 
relying on natural resources, were already moving towards the new 
economy. True farming was first to be developed in uplands that on a 
map look like the profile of an umbrella with the Levant as its handle 
and the great sweep from southern Anatolia round the head of the 
Tigris-Euphrates valley and along the southwest flank of the Zagros as 
its cover. 

Over this area descendants of the Late Hunters began to select and 
control wild cereals and wild sheep and goats in a manner that was to 
alter their genetic bases and produce true domestic breeds. These pro- 
cesses were subtly complicated, whether intentional or not. For 
instance, one of the most important changes in cultivated cereal was 
that the car retained its grains instead of scattering them as for natural 
seeding. Wild plants having this mutation would have been more easily 
gathered, and once carried home, would have inevitably provided a 
disproportionately larger amount of the seed corn. Furthermore the 
cultivators (women were traditionally the plant gatherers) learned 
deliberately to select ears with more numerous or larger grains for seed. 

Similarly the early herdsmen who advanced from the loose control 
of animals towards true stock breeding, at first tended to select the 
smaller, more docile individuals. The protection of herds from predators 
allowed mutations to be established that would have been eliminated in 
the wild. By this means the growth of horns was altered and also in 
cattle piebald colouring emerged, now so characteristic of many 
domestic breeds. 

The primary reason why domestication began in that umbrella- 
shaped area is because the wild ancestors of wheat and barley, sheep 
and goats, were native to that region. Another reason was that, as we 
have seen, the peoples of the Near East had long maintained progressive 
cultural traditions. To these explanations can be added the facts that 
the upland valleys offered good water supplies, often fertile soil and 
their natural configuration made it easier for men to confine their herd> 


8000- 5000 BC 

and to move them between summer and winter 
pastures. So began the more masterful relation- . 
ship of men with nature which in time brought 
the conviction that God had granted them 
"dominion over the cattle and over all the earth. . .". 

The history of domestication was not uni- 
form within the "umbrella" lands of the pioneers. 
Herding and then breeding sheep and goats began 
very early in the Zagros, probably even before 
8000 BC. By the late eighth nullennium crops were 
also being grown, although hunting and plant 
gathering still provided a considerable part of 
the diet. Before very long there were settled 
village communities in the upland valleys and 
foothills throughout the range, and in some 
places villagers had added pigs to their stock. 

In Anatolia and the Levant this order of 
events was reversed: \allagers were cultivating 
plots of wheat (einkom and emmer) and barley 
before they had domesticated animals. It seems 
that here and there, as at Jericho, quite large 
agricultiu-al communities remained wholly de- 
pendent on hunting for their meat. Stock- 
breeding, now including cattle in Anatolia, 
began in the later eighth millennium. 

The relatively settled hfe of agricultural 
villages with its new needs and opportunities 
had a revolutionary effect on dwellings, domes- 
tic equipment and the crafts. Architecture 
varied with local conditions, but in general 
houses were built to last and were equipped with 
fixed corn-grinders, ovens and good pro\ision 
for storing grain. In the southern Levant, with 
its strong Natufian tradition, the earhest 
houses were round. But after 7000 BC rectangular 
plans were adopted there and elsewhere; they 
were presumably found to be far better suited 
to compact building for \allages and towns. 

Layout differed from region to region, some 
houses had no more than a living room and 
storage area while others had several rooms, a 
courtyard, and even a second storey. Very often 
amenity and pride of possession was shown 
in highly polished plaster floors with rush mat- 
ting, and decorated walls of coloured dadoes 
and simple painted patterns. 

One great craft invention was fired pottery. 
The earhest certainly known example (c.7000 
BC) is from the Zagros region. There was a well- 
defined phase in the Levant and Anatolia when 
villagers living in comfortable, well -equipped 
houses, had not mastered the art of potting. This 
situation recurred as farming spread more 
widely. The old view that farming and potting 
always went together has long been disproved. 

Spiiming and weaving, usually of wool, was 
another important invention of the seventh 
millennium. Weighted spindles were used but 
nothing is yet known of the looms. 

A more significant development than the 
new crafts was the rise of trade. The hunters of 
the previous period had exchanged sea shells 
for ornaments and obsidian, so excellent for 
fine knapping, in very small quantities and 
over modest distances. Now the trade in 
obsidian (originating in the volcanic regions of 
central Anatolia and round Lake Van) followed 
many long routes, and there was further trade 
in the best flints. Trade in luxuries such as rare 
and attractive substances for adornment and 
personal possessions flourished at this time. 
Turquoise and many other semi-precious 
stones were carried far and wide to satisfy the 
aesthetic sense and vanity of men and women. 

Because of the nature of the archaeological 
evidence and the undoubted prime importance 
of farming as a foundation of future civiliza- 
tions, I have seemed to agree with an economic 
interpretation of history. Yet just as the Hunters' 
art with its magico-religious implications was, 
humanly speaking, their most significant 
achievement,so nothing was more reveahng of 
the advance of humanity in the earhest farmers 
than their religious art, ritual and imagery. 

Rather than discussing religious forms 
generally, I have decided to include them in the 
particular settings of Jericho and Catal Hiiyiik. 
These two extraordinarily interesting places 
have good claim to be called the oldest towns 
in the world. Nowhere else can the great crea- 
tive surge of the first stages of the Neolithic 
Revolution be better appreciated. 

Palestinian Jericho had already enjoyed a 
considerable history before the beginning of 
our period. By 8000 BC it had some two thou- 
sand inhabitants (of Natufian descent) who led 
their perennial spring water to their com fields 
and vegetable plots. Probably aggressive neigh- 
bours or nomads coveted the spring, for after a 
few centuries the enterprising townsfolk 
enclosed their settlement within a massive, 
stone-faced wall at least four metres high. 
Inside it they built a solid stone tower (or 
towers) rising to eight metres and containing a 
well-masoned stairway. The originality, enter- 
prise and energy involved in building these 
unique defences are astonishing and seem to 
imply some powerful leadership. 

Not much is knowm of the rehgious ideas of 
the inhabitants of Jericho in the eighth millen- 
nium but, like their Natufian ancestors, they 
preferred to bury their dead wthin or among 
their houses. Furthermore, this time saw the 
beginning of the cult of skulls. Towards the end 
of the millennium the place was deserted for a 
time, then reoccupied by people who lived in 
far better houses and kept domestic goats as 
well as cultivating wheat, barley and legumes. 

soon- 5000 fic 

One oithe man v gjuups of 
bulls hedds found m the- 
ihrines jt Caw' Huvuk. 
1\irkev It ivjs iniwd hclow 
J ljr%e plaster sutut ot the 
: Jdess siving birth ton 

The dead were still buned under houses, some- 
times m larjje numbers, and many of them 
decapitated. These headless bodies are the 
reverse aspect ot a strangely developed cult ot 
skulls Nine skulls were found on which the 
fleshy parts of the tace had been carefully 
reproduced in tinted plaster, with cowrie and 
other shells inserted for eyes The best skulls 
arc so finely modelled and life-like that they 
are works of art as well as cult obiects The 
evidence of the headless bodies and the loving 
care of the plasterwork make it almost certain 
that the skulls had belonged to men and 
women of )cricho rather than to enemies, and 
therefore represent a veneration of ancestors. 

The townsfolk of Jericho also practised 
other forms of worship. A female f igunnc with 
hands below breasts, icon of the Mother 
Goddess, is symbolic of the most widespread 
and popular cult of the age and one which we 
shall find at its height at Catal Huyiik. A small 
stone pillar set in a niche of a domestic shrine 
seems to be the earliest known manifestation 
of the pillar cult familiar in Bronze Age Egypt, 
Crete and Greece. 

This phase of Jericho's history ended about 
6000 BC while our knowledge of Catal Huyiik 
- a riverside settlement on the Konya plain of 
Anatolia - begins only in about 6250 BC. By 
this time it covered over thirty acres, the greater 
part being furnished with tight-packed houses 
of mudbrick, entered from above through their 
flat roofs. Probably at its height there were 
about a thousand houses and a population of 
some six thousand which was exuaordinarily 
large for that time. 

More strictly than Jericho, Catal Hiiyiik 
deserves the name of town because, as the 
excavators say, "the economy was based on 
simple irrigation agriculture and cattle- 
breeding, trade and industry." Its food supplies 
showed the rich variety characteristic of early 
fanning when domestic and wild species were 
exploited simultaneously. The townsfolk 
cultivated three types of wheat and one barley, 
and grew or gathered field peas, pistachios, 
almonds, crab apples, juniper and hackberry. 
They probably also enjoyed a wide range of 
green and root vegetables and soft fruits. Cattle 
provided them with most of their meat and 
p)erhaps with dairy produce, but they also kept 
a few goats and hunted deer and wild pig. They 
seem to have eaten wild birds and their eggs 
and to have done a little fishing. They could 
add to their sense of well-being with hackberry 
wine and beer 

Along with this abundant food supply the 
people of Catal Huyiik won further prosperity 
through their "trade and industry". From their 

town they could see the volcanic cone of Hasan 
Dag, and it is thought that they not only 
worked obsidian but controlled a considerable 
trade in it On the other hand, they imponed 
Syrian flint for their finest implements Among 
the population were highly skilled wood 
workers, textile and basket weavers, stone 
pt)lishers and potters Beads were made from 
native copper and later there was small-scale 
smelting, though the metal was still used only 
for trinkets Some part of all their products may 
have been traded, while they in turn had to 
import all raw matenals except wood over 
lesser or greater distances. 

Even more remarkable than the size and 
economic activity of this community of 8000 
years ago was the art and religious life of the 
towTi. Scattered among the houses were a 
number of shrine rooms, built much like the 
ordinary houses but marvellously distinguished 
by their decoration and furnishings. 

From a bewildering diversity of religious 
expression I can only evoke some of the most 
strange and powerful. Of primary importance 
was a fertility cult concerned equally with 
people and beasts and centred on different 
aspects of the supreme Goddess. She appears as 
the Crone, the Mother and the Maiden. Her 
male conson is shown as youth and bearded 
man and is further symbolized by bull, ram, 
stag and boar. Secondary cults in the shrines 
are concerned with death and funerary rites 
and also with wild animals and hunting magic. 

Free-standing idols were found which por- 
tray the Goddess in all forms from the most 
stylized to the fully naturalistic. Among the I 
latter she sometimes appears with leopards: in | 
one, magnificently fat, she sits enthroned 
between two felines as a child is bom to her 
She is also represented in large wall reliefs of 
painted plaster. The most awe-inspiring shows 
her straddled above three homed bulls' heads 
as she gives birth to a ram. 

Statuettes of the divine consort are less 
common but still varied: as both vouth and 
grown man he sometimes appears nding a leopard 
or bull. His presence is symbolized again and 
again in pairs of spreading bull homs found set 
in double rows along plaster balks or in bucrania 
and in the huge wall paintings of bulls. 

The death cult is most conspicuous in wall 
paintings, often in deliberate opposition to 
scenes or symbols of life. Among the most 
memorable manifestations are painted vultures 
with vast wings, their hooked and feathered 
beaks pecking at little headless human bodies. 
Even more macabre are carefully modelled 
female breasts within which are hidden the 
skulls of corpses of scavenging creatures - fox, 

8000- 5000 BC 

Pmntings of enormous 
vultures attacking headless 
humans appear in the 
earhest shhnes. As part of a 
funerary cult the people of 
Qatal Hiiyiik exposed their 
dead to vultures and later 
buried the bones beneath 

weasel and vultiire - very barbarous in our eyes 
yet expressing the concept of the unity of hf e 
and death. The funerary cult was also more 
directly apparent in the shrines. While the 
bones of the ordinary people of Catal Hiiyiik 
were buried beneath plaster benches in their 
houses, the flesh having been removed by 
vulttires or exposure, under the similar benches 
in the shrines there were often much richer 
burials. These were accompanied not only by 
beads and other personal ornaments as were 
some of the ordinary burials, but by stone 
vessels, ceremonial knives and the most extra- 
ordinary of ail the Catal Hiiyiik products - 
circular mirrors of obsidian set in neat plaster 
backs. These graves, the one sign of social dis- 
tinctions in the town, suggest a priestly or 
shamanistic elite. While the mirrors could 
have been ritually used by such people, we can 
perhaps allow them to symbolize for us a step 
towards greater self-awareness that must have 
been taken in the life-experience of the first 
settled farming communities. 

I have given so much space to Catal Hiiyiik 
partly for its richness and intrinsic fascination, 
but still more because it is the perfect example 
of man poised between the earlier instinctive 
hunting life with its elements of savagery and 
the life of high civilization that was to dawn at 
around 3000 BC. The continuance of hunting, 
the animal painting and preoccupation with 
animal symbolism in religion and the extrava- 
gantly experimental cult practices, all look 
back to the past. But the Mother Goddess of life 
and death with her consort and bull cult, were 
images that were to be refined and to flourish 
in the Bronze Age civilizations of the Old 
World along with the basic farming economy, 
the crafts and the crowded towns. 

There is substantial evidence that rapid 
population increases at Catal Huyuk led many 
people to emigrate and found new settlements 
elsewhere in southern Anatolia. This provides 
a localized example of a process characteristic 
of the sixth millennium. As the New Stone Age 
economy and cultures matured they spread 
outward from their primary centres vnthin the 
"imibrella". In most of the lands involved in this 
spread, cattle and cereals appeared abruptly in 
their domesticated forms and in many places 
the domestic crafts of potting and weaving also 
appeared suddenly without any trace of local 
evolution. There can be no question, therefore, 
that movements of farming peoples occurred, 
perhaps often originating in a "population 
explosion" such as seems to have happened at 
Catal Hiiyiik. On the other hand, native 
peoples may sometimes have adopted the new 
way of life through trade and neighbourly con- 

tacts. Their traditions then quickly modified 
those of the newcomers to produce distinctive 
regional cultures. 

I must now give a brief account of this 
secondary diffusion of the Neolithic Revolu- 
tion before turning for a final look at the rest of 
the world, where the revolution was not felt 
before 5000 BC and men continued to live by 
hunting and food gathering. 

Before and immediately after 6000 BC, 
simple mixed farming had been carried to the 
fertile plain of Thessaly and southward to the 
Peloponnese. Crete was also settled at this time, 
though perhaps more directly from southwest 
Anatolia. Crete is of particular interest not only 
because of its glorious future, but because it is a 
clear example of farming being spread by the 
enterprise of families seeking new homes on 
new land. The sea crossing had apparently been 
too much for the hunters, so that the settlers 
brought their boats to a virgin and paradisiacal 
island. They shipped with them the seed com 
and the young animals that were the products 
of domestication in the Near East. They had 
bread wheat, emmer and einkom wheat, six- 
row barley and lentils; they had sheep, goats, 
pigs, cattle and dogs. Some of the emigrants 
chose cave dwellings, others built small villages. 
One group selected a low hill above a stream in 
a sheltered valley some three miles from the 
north coast. There they hastily raised some 
shelter over their heads - probably flimsy 
wooden huts. So was Knossos founded! There 
was to be a village on this hill almost continu- 
ously until the first Minoan palace was built 
there four thousand years later 

By the middle of the sixth millennium 
farmers had followed the Thracian plain and 
the valley routes northward from the head of 
the Aegean to settle in Macedonia (Bulgaria 
and Yugoslavia) and in southern Hungary and 
Rumania. There, standards of housing and of 
farming continued to rise. All communities 
made pottery, much of it attractively painted, 
and exchanged the skin dress of hunters for 
textiles. Obsidian could be obtained from 
Melos, a source already discovered by the Late 
Hunters, and female figurines, in many differ- 
ent forms, were made almost everywhere, 
presumably for cultic use. 

Two more steps to the west remain to be 
chronicled. Well before 5000 BC many little 
farming settlements were set up along the east 
coast of Italy by peoples crossing the Adriatic 
from the Yugoslav coast. These western fron- 
tiersmen of the Neolithic Revolution freely 
supplemented their domestic economy with 
wild foods. In one village by an estuary the 
people ate great quantities of cockles, and with 

HCXK) - S()0() HC 

pioneering enterprise deviseil a Hint tool 
expressly tor oix.nin>; tliein 

Finally, some primitive t.innmjj.ippcareil 
round the coasts ot Spain aiul ronii>;al \ li re, 
however, cave v.lwellin>; was usual ami the 
stone tools were derived trom those ot the Late 
Hunters. The New Stone Age way of life was 
not fully developed in the lands of the western 
Mediterranean until our next jieriod (page 70) 

Having tollowed the spread ot farming to 
its westernmost limits hefore .S(XX) BC, I must 
now return to the Levant (the "umhrella 
handle") to see whether there was a con- 
temporary southward expansion trom Palestine. 
Many people still have a vague impression that 
farming must have begun very early in Egypt, 
but this was not so. The Nile valley being far 
from the uplands where the revolution began 
was not attected by it until about .S.S(X), at least 
two and a halt thousand years after its incep- 
tion in the Levant. The long delay was probably 
due not so much to the intervening desert as to 
the contrast of conditions, and therefore of 
techniques necessary for farming, between the 
uplands and the swampy, sun-scorched and 
rainless valley. Similar factors, though on a 
vaster scale, delayed the cultivation of Sumcria. 
Farming apparently arrived at much the same 
date in Upper and Lower Egypt and was un- 
doubtedly of Asiatic origin. The climate 
encouraged the use of palm and matting huts 
rather than mudbrick housing. But since 
predynastic Egypt falls properly within the next 
chapter no more need be said here. 

At about the time when the first settlers 
were beginning the tremendous task of clearing 
and irrigating along the Nile banks, what seems 
to have been a purely herding life based on 
cattle and sheep appeared ak)ng the North 
African coast, in the Horn of Africa, and Kenya. 
Some of the earliest Saharan rock-paintings 
may date from this phase. It took a long time 
for any part of the new economy to penetrate 
south of the Sahara. 

Before turning to the great overland expan- 
sion of farming towards the cast, I must glance 
at Cyprus. Tucked in between the Levant and 
Anatolia and visible from their shores, it is not 
surprising that it was reached quite early, 
perhaps before 6(XX) BC. Agriculture and stock- 
breeding were introduced by settlers who are 
best known from their curious little town of 
Khirokitia. They showed conservatism in 
maintaining the Natufian tradition of round 
houses, also in their stone tools and in prefer- 
ring stone vessels to pottery. On the other hand, 
the houses were snug and well-equipped, the 
town quite large and well laid out, the vessels 
of the finest. Cyprus provides an early example 

of islanders, in their isolation and security, 
going their own way 

By far the most historically important 
inovemeiit ot this time took jilace in and 
arouml the upper and middle valley ot the 
Tigris-Euphrates. We have seen how by about 
7(XX) BC villages were prospering in the up 
lands ailjoining the great rivers, but there was 
still no settlement on the valley floor - the 
plains ot Mesopotanua Now, with well- 
ileveloped farming skills, men began to move 
on to this fertile alluvial soil, particularly into 
that northern pan which was to be Assyria 
where there was enough rainlall to grow crops. 

The first people to build villages and lead 
their flocks on to the plain chose the relatively 
barren steppe lands of the Jezirek between the 
Tigris and Euphrates, where they may have 
settled even a little before 6(XX) BC. These first 
true Mesopotamians seem to have had cultural 
ties with the Levant. Their early presence in the 
valley has only recently been recognized. 
Much better known are the peoples who 
followed them by the middle of the millen- 
nium, and who may very well have moved 
down from the surrounding uplands. This 
situation would accord with the fact that the 
most northerly group settled mainly near the 
well-watered foothills round the head of the 
rivers, as did their neighbours to the southeast. 
Further south again, mainly beyond the Little 
Zab in the middle Tigris area, a third group was 
somewhat differently placed. A lack of rainfall 
obliged them to irrigate - and so began the 
great system of canals that was to make all 
southern Mesopotamia fertile by 3000 BC. 

These three Mesopotamian groups have 
been named by archaeology after the sites of 
Tell Halaf, Hassuna and Samarra respectively. 
All three grew the now familiar cereal crops 
and while still hunting some wild game, 
herded sheep and goats and a few cattle. All 
three developed painted pottery, although in 
the early days the Samarrans specialized in fine 
alabaster vessels All three were well housed, 
but here there is one sharp distinction: the 
Halafians, like the people of Khirokitia, 
showed.conservatism in retaining round 
houses. All three practised the fertility cult 
associated with the Goddess, although her 
representations differed widely; all three 
tended to bury their dead in cemeteries rather 
than in their houses. The Samarrans placed 
figurines of the Goddess and phalli in their 
graves, together with fine beads, alabaster 
vessels and other possessions. These same 
people seem to have been the most prosperous; 
the Hassuna people were perhaps the most 
rustic. It would be a mistake, however, to think 

8000- 5000 BC 

any of them lacked a certain style: figurines 
suggest flounced skirts and tall hats or hairdos; 
vase painters loved to show dancing girls; the 
introduction of flax almost certainly led to 
linen garments and Halaf pottery was raised to 
a pitch of aristocratic elegance. 

One historical point remains to be made. 
Before 5000 BC the Halafians spread westward 
to the Mediterranean (probably again after 
rapid population growth), covering a vast range 
from Nineveh (Mosul) to Ugarit on the Syrian 
coast and reaching Anatolia. 

While the population grew on the north 
Mesopotamian plain and down the Tigris, the 
lower Euphrates (facing desert instead of fertile 
uplands) and the great southern plain that was 
to be Sumeria, remained virtually uninhabited. 
Although settlement may have begun in the 
south (notably at Endu) just before 5000, this 
history, like that of Egypt, belongs essentially to 
our next period and until then I shall leave it. 

While the settlement of the plains was in 
progress, peoples of the pioneering Zagros up- 
lands also advanced their agriculture and 
adopted pottery, including simple painted 
wares. Yet diuing the sixth millennium they 
lost their position in the van of the New Stone 
Age advance. Upland valleys may be ideal for 
small scale farming but they handicap expan- 
sion into larger units. In any event, the Neo- 
hthic Revolution failed to make itself felt in 
India before 5000 BC. 

Yet the new economy was adopted over 
great expanses of mountain and high plateau to 
the north and east. In spite of the grim climate, 
villages sprang up in Transcaucasia between 
the Black and Caspian seas and on the Iranian 
plateau. Indeed the spread reached out towards 
Central Asia, with numbers of mixed farming 
settlements in Turkmenia, along the southern 
edge of the Kara Kun desert, and with outliers 
as far as Afghanistan. In all these regions there 
were the usual cereals, sheep, goats and 
occasionally cattle. Potting and weaving were 
invariably adopted at some stage. But aU 
tended to be on a modest level, with small 
villages, small houses and few luxuries of any 
kind. Hunting and gathering were still impott- 
ant for food supplies. 

Of all these territories with their general 
uniformity and local peculiarities of culture, I 
select the north Iranian plateau between Zagros 
and Elburz as the most significant. There was 
some farming here even before 6000 BC but this 
region prospered with the settlement of Siyalk. 
Not only was Siyalk itself a relatively large 
place and well sited for mountain trade routes, 
but the inhabitants were among the first to 
work the native copper, plentiful in the eastern 

desert. They used it not for beads, but for small 
tools, pins and needles. In this technological 
enterprise we can see them looking forward to 
the copper using era of our next period. 

I have now given an outline picture of the 
diffusion of mixed farming from its primary 
centres in the Near East until it extended from 
Spain to Afghanistan and from Turkmenia to 
Upper Egypt. It was a very large area and yet 
the humanly inhabited lands outside it were 
very much larger stiU. In all these vast, still 
primitive territories, human societies continued 
to hve entirely on what nature had to offer by 
an infinite variety of hunting, fishing, fowling 
and plant gathering. There were also within the 
food-producing regions very many local 
groups who either preferred or were obliged by 
the terrain to remain as hunters. 

In Europe the Late Hunting peoples showed 
themselves well able to adjust to the complete 
change in their surroundings that came with 
the warmer climate. By 8000 BC birch and pine 
forests were invading the old open hunting 
grounds and they were later followed by the far 
denser mixed oak forests. The principal game 
were now red deer and wild cattle. In many 
regions there was an increase in fowling that 
went with a general use of the bow and arrow, 
and strand looping as well as fresh water and 
sea fishing intensified. Paddled boats (dugout 
or skin-covered) seem to have come into use 
here at much the same time as in the Mediter- 
ranean. While composite tools with microliths 
were still made, quite heavy chipped flint axes 
were devised for tree felling and wood working. 

A little community wath a lakeside encamp- 
ment in Yorkshire (Star Carr) gives the most 
exact idea of the social patterns of the time. 
There were four or five family groups, some two 
dozen men, women and children in all, who 
lived in shelters on a platform of branches and 
brushwood. They remained there only from 
late autumn to early spring, but returned each 
year over some twenty seasons. Presumably 
during the warmer weather they moved about 
more freely. 

A much more lively impression of the Late 
Hunters' life has been preserved in the rock 
paintings of eastern Spain. Artists were probably 
at work there both before and after the small 
beginnings of farming in the peninsula. Unlike 
their predecessors of the Old Stone Age these 
painters loved to show human beings, and human 
beings involved together in scenes of hunting, 
fighting and dancing. The men, almost always 
carrying bows or spears, dash about with 
enormous energy and zest, pausing only to 
shoot at ibex deer or boar. The women, though 
hampered by long skirts, are shown dancing. 


In Scandina\na dense foa-sts caused most hunters 
to live along the coasts where they could not 
only fish and gather shellfish, but also hunt 
seals, porpoise and sea birds They, too, had 
their anists who enRra%ed animals on rocks m 
the old naturalistic style and carved them in 
stone and amber In some localities such as IX-n- 
mark, this kind of existence was to persist until 
3000 BC, and in a great circumpolar belt from the 
Baltic to Sibena until recent times Ways of 
life in Siberia ranged from settled fishing along 
the Amur to reindeer-hunting over the tundra. 

Hunting and food gathering seem to have 
persisted throughout the period in southeast 
Asia as well (includipg Java, Borneo and 
Sumatra) and in lapan. Again one must picture 
most people living along the coasts (where huge 
middens proclaim their fondness for shellfish) 
and some in riverside caves, hunting pig for 
their main meat supply. It has been claimed 
that there was very early cultivation of such 
local plants as bean, waterchestnuts and gourds 
in Thailand, but this is still uncertain. On the 
other hand, there is no doubt that potting was 
being practised before 6000 BC, an unusual 
craft for hunters and fishers. 

The rise in sea levels that followed the 
melting of the ice cut off the Americas from 
Asia. It is thought that from then until the 
arrival of the Europeans, cultures and civiliza- 
tions developed virtually without outside 
influence. The changes that took place in the 
Americas in this period were not very different 
from contemporary events in the still primitive 
areas of the Old World. In the eastern wood- 
lands of North America the big game hunting 
tradition was coming to an end by the begin- 
ning of the period; the warmer climate brought 
a greater dependence on plant collecting and 
fishing. In the central plains, however, old ways 
could be more nearly maintained, with bison 
taking the place of mammoth as the chief game 
animal. In the west and in the uplands of 
Mexico what has become known as the Desert 
culture was taking shape. Although deer, 
mountain sheep and other animals were 
hunted with spear-throwers, a large part of the 
diet was supplied by the collection of all kinds 
of seeds, nuts, berries and roots. These were 
parched, then ground on the large, flat milling 
stones that the Spaniards were to call metates 
and which are still to be seen in American 
Indian houses. The Desert peoples were neither 
settled nor nomadic, but made regular seasonal 
shifts seeking out one source of food after 
another They often used caves for shelters. 
Such a life limited them to simple equipment, 
but they were skilful makers of baskets, mats 
and netting. In some regions the Desert tradi- 

tion persisted until the mid nineteenth century. | 
So far as we know, it was only in Mexico i 
that there were the first small signs of food 
production during this time In the Valley of 
Mexici) and the lehuacan valley to the south 
(both to be centres of civilization), a few plants 
such as beans, squash and peppers were being 
cultivated. At the end of this period a very 
small and primitive maize, the great American 
cereal of the future, wasgrown . The contribution 
these cultivated plants made to the general food 
supplies, however, was still almost negligible. 
Little is known of South America at this 
time, but the shih from big-game hunting 
seems to have followed much the same course 
as in North America, though here the smaller 
game included llamas. There was one diverg- 
ence: before 5000 BC people began to form 
more settled communities along the coasts of 
Chile and Peru, where, like their contempor- 
aries across the Pacific, they won a good living 
from the produce of the sea. 

From an historical point of view this period 
(8000-5000) must, I think, be judged as one of 
promise rather than attainment. It saw a 
number of inventions and discoveries that 
have served us well ever since. Most remark- 
able, of course, was the domestication of all the 
principal cereals and livestock that were to 
support not only the Bronze Age civilizations 
of our next period, but also so large a part of 
mankind up to the present day. It saw the dawn 
of the idea of comf onable and serviceable 
houses. Yet in those mental and creative powers 
which distinguished mankind, progress was 
not so great. There was no imaginative art to 
compare with what had gone before, and the 
strange, somewhat crude and barbarous mani- 
festations of the Catal Huvuk shrines were 
incomparible with the great religious inspira- 
tion of art and architecture that was to burst 
out with civilization. 

I must add an envoy to the hunting life. It 
had been the shaper ot all peoples' emotions and 
enthusiasms until this time, but from now on it 
was to be pushed further and further into 
obscure refuges. The conditioning of so many 
hundreds of thousands of years could not easily 
be suppressed. Farming meant the imposition 
of routines on both sexes: men were more tied, 
with lasting responsibilities rather than sudden 
excitement; women would have to spend 
untold hours at the millstone or loom. One has 
only to look at the Spanish cave paintings to 
see the loie de vivre that came from successful 
hunting. All through succeeding periods we 
shall find hunting as the privilege of the ehte, 
with humble people enjoying it when they 
could. This instinct is with us yet. 

8000- 5000 BC 

Technology 8000-5000 BC 

The mastery of food production, arguably the 
most important single technological advance 
made by mankind, belongs to this period. The 
change was by no means sudden. At 8000 BC 
a few Near Eastern sites like Jericho, Mureybet, 
Zawi Chemi and Shanidar already appear to 
have had herds of sheep, goat and gazelle 
under conditions closely approximating 
domestication. Intensive gathering of wild 
grain had reached an advanced stage too. By 
5000, domesticated animals, now including 
cow and pig, and cultivated crops such as a 
variety of wheats, barleys and legumes, were 
staples of the economy from the Adriatic to 
Central Asia, over areas far wider than the hill 
districts occupied by their wild ancestors. 

This change had many repercussions. It 
called for new and improved tools; it led im- 
mediately to more permanent settlements, 
allowing a much larger, and so more specialized, 
range of material equipment; it allowed an 
increase of population and encouraged trade. 
It may be no exaggeration to say that by 
8000 man was close to the limits of his technical 
abilities in a hunting/food gathering way of life. 
A number of developments followed quite 
rapidly In semi-desert regions away from the 
hills. It had been found that the cuhivatable 
area could be greatly increased by irrigation, 
which in turn called for advances in social 
organization. From a surprisingly early date, 
the properties of native copper were at least 
occasionally noticed, though it was not until 
much later that metal was used for more than 
ornaments or trinkets. The weaving of textiles 
also began in this period and was a great 
improvement on hides and pelts for clothing. 

A characteristic feature of the Neolithic 
period was the development of ground stone 
and pottery although their presence did not 
necessarily indicate food production. Many 
early farmers made little use of ground stone 
and none of pottery while, conversely, some 
food gatherers used the former and, where 
their resources allowed permanent settlement, 
the latter too. 

A further notable change of this period was 
the spread of the miniature flint tools or micro- 
liths. Microlithic industries are found at this 
time from the Atlantic to India, and the spread 
was probably the result of concentration on 
small game hunting. 

There is much stronger evidence for the 
use of boats at this time, especially from Europe 
A few dug-out canoes preserved in clay were 
found near Perth and some paddles were 
unearthed near Scarborough and in Denmark. 

The Americas 

Further new forms of pro- 
jectile point were developed. 
Querns, known as metntes, 
show that in Mexico wild 
maize had become a food 



Continental Europe 

Western Mediterranean 

The bow and arrow was now 
certainly part of hunting 
equipment, being shown in 
Spanish rock art. At Coppa 
Nevigata flint awls were 
devised for opening cockle 
shells-a major source of food. 
Crop cultivation around the 
Mediterranean coast is 
indicated by the stone grinder 

Stone Copper Bronze 


Contincntjl Europe 

I .lie Hiuiim(5cquipmcni l^ well 
ri prcM. lued in the bow, h«hcJ 
jxc, llint knitc, barbed harpnon 
and fish hook. 

1 1 hi 

.-*; .7 

Eastern Meditenanein 

Mudhritk construction 
became widespread in 
permanent settlements here 
and elsewhere Storage 
containers and stamps suggest 
a growing economy based not 
only on agriculture but on an 
increasing trade in obsidian. 

Egypt/ Africa 

The stone quern indicates that 
the techniques of food 
production may have been 
known m the Nile Valley, while 
throughout the rest of Africa 
bone and flintwork continued 
earlier traditions. 

Fat Eati 

In China and further south, 
intensive food gathering was 
approaching full food produc- 
tion I'ermanent settlements 
dependent on the exploitation 
ot shellfish were already 
prcNeni in lapan hut the fairly 
priiniti\i. •.(iiiK ti .Ills such as 
theatr andspaiul.i show little 





Iran - India 

A tull food producing 
technolog\-, including irrigation 
and competent pottery and 
leading to tullv settled villages, 
spread to the east and north 
from the Zagros as far as 
Turkmenia and the Caucasus. 


Food production became firmly 
established and began to spread 
to the much more fertile tlood 
plains ot the south with the 
development of irrigation One 
notable result was the early 
flowering of fine pottery. 

8000- 5000 BC 


Equipment was developed 
for turning grain into edible 
food. The husking tray, 
with its grooved bottom, 
was used for breaking up 
the ears of corn. The grain 
was then transferred to the 
stone quern, where hard 
work with the rubber 

reduced it to coarse flour. 
This would be mixed to a 
dough (probably without 
yeast), to make thin wafer- 
like bread. Baking was 
carried out on hot plates 
over an open fire, or, as here, 
in proper built ovens (partly 
closed chambers below or 
above ground). 

BREAD OVENS A fire was 
built m the chamber which 
was then cleared leaded 
with the bread and 
covered to retain its heat 

Ceramic husking tray 

The Qadan quern from 
Nubia may have been used 
only for virild grain. 
Although food production 
is recorded from the then 
better-watered central 
Sahara, most of the 
continent persisted in 
hunting and food gathering 
with traditional flint 


Stone quern 

Eastern Meditenanean 

The technology of Catal 
Hiiyiik is an outstanding 
example of the develop- 
ments in this area in this 
period. Craftsmanship of 
the highest order went into 
the shaping of flint and 
obsidian which were traded 
through the Levant and 
brought wealth to the area 
The stamp seals suggest 
more evolved ideas of 
property ownership, not 
surprising in a town of 
13 ha. and perhaps 5000 
inhabitants. The hand- 
moulded mudbrick from 
Jericho is an early example 
of a building technique that 
is still used today 


Obsidian dagger 

Hind made mudbrick 

Western Mediterranean 

Farming practices were 
brought by sea round the 
Mediterranean coasts, 
though we have no evidence 
of the boats used We do 
know that grain crops were j 
raised in Italy and that 
domesticated animals had 
been introduced at least as 
far as Provence 


Continental Europe 

In the north and west, a 
whole new economy and 
way of life was devised to 
suit the post-glacial 

Using a stone grinder 

conditions. The emphasis 
on hunting smaller animals, 
fish and fowl led to the 
wider use of the bow and 
arrow and barbed harpoon. 

Iran - India 

Though its sites are less 
dramatic than some farther 
west, this area played a 
major part m the mastering 
of food production. The 
pohshed stone axe was a 
much more efficient tool 
than its flaked predecessor 

Carved bone harpoons 

Far East 

In an area tending towards 
full food production, the 
pohshed stone axe was a 
major weapon for winning 
cultivatable fields from the 
jungle. An indigenous 
food-producing economy 
may aheady have been 
present in Thailand. 


The Americas 

Big-game hunting on the 
Great Plains continued 
with points of new shapes 
such as the Scottsbluf f and 

Scottsbluff points 


ANIMAl'iThffiMf >r>. 

ffnv;' ' ' ■! ivjs 


his >on 

per: , .-loj 

reJJcci j: i ;^.-i^;aiii and 
gtaelle at Niihdl ( iren Ai 
the gflme came (u he haded, 
hxiihandry meihodi bexjii 
toapfKiu The culhn^ oi 
yoiiTi.^mij/f^'irsr leavitig, 

or.'-. '■ • -he 

il load 

ff . .;[ 

ZJ^^ 'MX)BC 

fuiJ JijjiitjLi^Liuij followed 
later and involved selective 
breeding of such speaes as 
wild sheep, wild $oat. 
aurochsand wild pig At 
this later stage recognizable 
changes m the skeleton 
began toappeur-notably 
the reduction m horn size 

Domestiaited pig 

I > 

Domestiaited goat 

Domestiaited cow 

>«Thlj*iiiiim,,u.jiiiilpi k >• «/ 

jf'i /> / jj M iJ S WildamochbuU^, 

Wild barley, einkom and 
etnmer wheats were the 
staple grains of early agri- 
cultme in the Old World 
They grew wild only in the 
billy belt from Syria through 
southern Tiirkey into Iraq 
Heavier rehance on grams 
caused food gatherers to 
take gieaur care of them. 
and eventually the idea of 
breaking the ground and 
sowing the crop was 
introduced ifirst proved at 
Miaeybet. Mesopotamiai 
Changes and improvements 

to barley and wheat result- 
ing from culuvaaon 
included a gram that 
separated more readily from 
Its chafiand an ear which 
did not shatur on npening 
Eventual hybrids between 
the wild wheats and other 
grasses produced bread 
wheats, sixrow barley 
resulted from mutation 
Similar developmenu were 
imdoubtedlv true of other 
vegetables, notably the pea 
family, millet in northern 
regions, nee in Asia and 
maize in America. 


Willi aiiii liumt^ucated 
emkom wheat 


Wild and duinesucated 

8000- 5000 BC 

Architecture 8000-5000 BC 

Over most of the world, this period saw httle 
change. Many, though not all, caves were aban- 
doned as the climate improved yet there was 
little advancement in hut construction. Earth 
houses were not needed in the warmer A^eather 
and perishable wooden structures rarely sur- 
vive. Throughout Europe, Africa, the Far East 
and the Americas, the most developed archi- 
tecture consisted of simple stick and thatch 
huts and shelters. 

But in those areas where domestication of 
animals and crop cultivation were practised - 
Mesopotamia, eastern Mediterranean and 
Iran-India - architectural advance is more 
apparent. The mastery of food production 
made permanent dwellings a necessity - crops 
and animals had to be guarded. Once people 
abandoned the restless hunting life they could 
afford to spend more time making their homes 
sturdy and comfortable. 

Construction was of stone footings sur- 
mounted by sticks and brush, or of clay slabs, 
later giving way to sun-dried mudbricks. These 
bricks were first shaped by hand (as at Jericho) 
but later the mud was rammed into moulds. It 
was not long too, before rectangular houses 
almost universally replaced circular ones which 
had copied earlier tents or bivouacs. Frequently 
there were internal fittings such as benches for 
sitting or sleeping, cupboards for storage, a 
hearth or oven for cooking. Often, however, 
cooking was done in the open, in attached 
courtyards, perhaps to combat the smoke and 
avoid the fire risk. At some sites, notably Catal 
Hiiyiik, some rooms were set aside as shrines 
for religious or ceremonial piu-poses. 

Considerable variations existed within the 
general pattern of building. A high quality plas- 
ter was used in some areas to coat the inferior 
mudbrick. Roofs were usually flat, but the 
circular houses of Khirokitia in Cyprus had 
fine corbelled vaults. Upper storeys were 
aheady present at Hacilar and strangely 
enough at Catal Hiiyiik the roofs were used for 
all conmiunication, no space being left between 
houses at ground level at all. 

Most settlements were quite small but at 
least two notable exceptions are known. Catal 
Hiiyiik covered 13 ha., though only a small 
proportion of this has been excavated. It may 
have held 5000 people. The extent of Jericho is 
more clearly defined at 4 ha., since it was sur- 
rounded by a massive stone wall with external 
rock-cut ditch. The circular tower which stands 
behind the wall can fairly be described as the 
world's oldest known monument. 

The Americas 

Caves and temporary shelters 
ed as before. 

Western Mediterranean 

Natural caves remain the only 
documented dwellmgs, though 
huts were probably erected. 


Eastern Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 


I Europe 
u tr.iccs ri.'mjiii ot huiMinKs 
■ this ptriod but more 
.ib>tjn(ul cviJcncc ol the 
.ut> ol Late Hunters and food 
>:jtherer» hjvc been lound j( 
Lcpcnski Vir on the n.inubi. 

Eailem McdiierranMn 

The mastirv ol lood production 
led to pcrnuncnt settlements 
throughoiu the ,irea and 
substantial buildings on some 
sites. Round houses were 
tollowcd by rectangular ones 
which were more suited to 
town planning 


Little is known of dwellings m 
this area at this early period 

Egypt/ Africa 

Scanty remains ot buildings 
survive from this area; simple 
huts ol locally available 
matenals were probable 

Permanent villages spread 
along the hills and across the 
northern plains, and later to 
the rich southern tlood plain. 
At (anno early houses were 
built ot clay ipisel and plastered 
with mud 

Iran- India 
Villages ot rectangular 
mudbrick houses sprang up 
over much of western and 
northern Iran and on to 
Turkmenia, east of the Caspian. 

8000- 5000 BC 


The standard building 
material was mudbrick 
which is wetted earth 
moulded into shape and 
dried in the sun It was built 
up into walls using more 
mud as mortar. The houses 
of Jarmo, however, were 
buUt of clay, known locally 
as pise. Floors and roofs 
were both of mud laid over 

reeds, supported in the 
latter case by timber beams. 
The small rectangular 
houses contained store- 
rooms, sleeping quarters 
and a hving room vrith a 
hearth. The walled court- 
yard attached to each 
obviously played a major 
part both as a working area 
and, with its built oven, a 
cooking area. 

Rectan:i.ulaT dwelling house, larmo 

Egypt/ Africa it is buried deep beneath 

Evidence for this period the Nile silt. Scanty traces 

from Egypt is extremely of light huts may not be 

scarce, probably because typical. 

Simple reed huts 

Eastern Mediterranean 

This area, which was 
peopled by many food 
producing groups, 
contained the most varied 
architecture of the period. 

JERICHO Around 8000 BC 
an open settlement of well- 
constructed round houses o( 
mudbrick was enclosed in a 
defensive stone wall 10 ft. 
13 m.) thick and at least 13 ft. 
(4 m.) high. Against this a 
tower 33 ft. (10m.) across 
and 28 ft IS 5 m.j high was 
erected. Later the wall was 
further heightened and a 
ditch cut in the rock outside 
It to enclose an area of 4 ha. 
After aperiod of abandon- 
ment, Jehcho was 
recolonized about 7000 BC. 
The town walls were not 
renewed but rectangular 
houses of mudbrick with 
high quality plastered walls 
and floors spread over the 

Li and \\ull>:,lericho,Israel 

HACILAR Similar in style 
but larger than the buildings 
dwelUngs here were 
rectangular of square bricks 
with stone foimdations. 
The two-storey build: 
were laid out in blocks 
back-to-back and entered 
from courtyards or narrow 

s. Hacilar, Turkey 

8000- 5000 «C* 


houses here belong to a 
difierent tradition, being 
raised on circular footings 
of stone with domed 
mudbnck roofs They had 
g:aller\' bedrooms and high 
thresholds to keep out ram 
and nnid 

. \ lAL HUYUK In the 
mudbnck rectangular 
houses WJ.S found an extra 
ordmarv series of shrines 
The sanctuaries were 
furnished with wall 
paintings, plaster reliefs, 
animal heads - real or 
mfxlelled - and cult statue 
These rooms were similar ii; 
plan and construction to 
domestic ones, with heanbv 
platforms, benches and 
ovens, but tbev were 
elaborately decorated and 
frequently larger 

Wetlem Mediicrranean 

ThouRh t.irmiiiK |)cciple 
were hcKiiiiiiMK ti> move 
into the .iriativi(XK)BC, 
i>iilv Live dwellmx-i 
hiivc been luutid 

Contlnenul Europe 

The most detailed evidence 
trom thi» area comes trom 
the »ite Ji Lcpenski Vir m 
the xorxe jt Iron CjtcN On 
i terrace bcMde the Danube 
aruwof timber 

built houses was erected by 
a community ot iishermcn 
Simple hearths and other 
domestic littinKs were 
tound alonx with trcqucnt 
and curiously carved stone 

lUse. Lepcnski Vir. Yugoslavia 

Iran - India 

Small, rectangular and llat- 
roofcd houses were similar 
throughout the area, 
although at Ali Kosh slabs 
of clay were cut direct from 
the ground for building 
Elsewhere, as at Gani 
Uareh, the more usual 
mudbrick was employed. 

Far East 

No evidence of buildings 
has been found at this time. 

The Americas 

In the New World no 
architectural development 
had taken place The 
structure of temporary 
shelters can only be 
guessed at. 

Mudbnck jiid .i:rjiv huusc 

'Beehive' houses. KJiirokitia. Cyprus 

8000- 5000 BC 

An 8000- 5000 BC 

The art of this period falls on either side of the 
great divide in ways of living and seeing that 
came with the adoption of farming and the 
resulting increase in skills and possessions. 

On one side the surviving hunting societies 
here and there continued to portray animals 
and related subjects wdth some degree of 
realism. On the other side, the art of the peoples 
who adopted farming during this period was 
mainly decorative. We know it from their 
pottery, but there is no doubt that all kinds of 
perishable belongings, particularly textiles and 
baskets, would also have been enriched by 
colour and pattern. 

In addition to their decorative arts, many of 
the farming peoples also used their ceramic 
skills to make small models, most often female 
figurines symbolizing the Mother Goddess. 

The most characteristic and lively of the 
hunting art still comes from Europe. In eastern 
Spain, Late Hunters painted on large, exposed 
rock surfaces, usually in reddish colours that 
stand out strongly against the grey stone. In 
subject matter this Mesolithic art contrasts 
with that of our earlier period, for although 
both animals and people may be painted 
individually, they far more often appear in 
scenes of hunting, dancing and warfare in 
which there are large numbers of figures all 
active and frequently running at high speed. 

In contrast, the other main centre of Late 
Hunting art in Europe maintains the isolated 
figures and relative calm of the Old Stone Age 
work. This is in Scandinavia. It forms two 
divisions, the stocky little animal sculptures, 
mostly from Denmark, and the rock 
engravings of game animals found up the 
coasts of Norway. 

For hunting art outside Europe, it is very 
probable that the earlier rock engravings of the 
central Sahara were made in this period, 
including the "big-heads" that are thought to 
represent divinities. Probably some of the 
Egyptian rock art should also be included. 

The decorative art of painted pottery is 
confined to the Near East where the finest 
work comes from Anatolia, Syria and northern 
Mesopotamia. The artists, who may very often 
have been women, used mainly geometric 
compositions, often both elaborate and styhsh. 
Formalized animals and motifs such as the 
rosette and the cross might be added. 

The most important and fascinating works 
of this period are the mural paintings, sculptures 
and pottery figures from Catal Huyiik in 
southern Anatolia. 



The Americas 

There is no evidence of either 
decorative or representational 
art at this time. 

Western Mediterranean 

Most of the vital and often well- 
composed scenes of hunting 
life painted on cliff and rock 
faces in eastern Spain are 
likely to date from this period. 
The contemporary Mesolithic 
hunting people who succeeded 
the earher inhabitants in the 
cave of Mas d' Azil painted 
abstract designs on pebbles 


Coniincnul Eurupc 

Ot the .inimjl .in ilut |HtM>ti\l 
amonxthc Late MuiUcfMit 
Europe, the uuthiic cOKTavinKii 
of elk and othcf wild ainmjiN 
on cojiitjl r(H'k> ol Norwav arc 
the most rcdh»uc lni:)cnmark 
the hunter h>her» nude smjil 
carvings iii the mund .iiid .iKo 
s<iiiH'tiuie!>eiiKiavcd theu 
possessions with Minpic 
tceomctrK iMttcms. Siii>:ukr 
caoed stiific heads were ni.ule 
in Yugoslavia 

Eastern Mcdilcnancan 

The people ot Icricho created 
the most tnteresimxart inthe 
Levant when they modelled 
plaster leaturcs im the skulls 
o( their dead It was sensitively 
done and may even have an 
element ot portraiture They 
also made near litesize 
stylized human ti^urcs in 
plaster In Anatolia, in addition 
to the unique paintings and 
sculpture ol Catal Huyiik, 
there is painted and tigurc- 
shaped pottery - and 
voluptuous temalc tigurines 
from Hacilar 

The Far East 

Cutting was lust heginning in 
lapan, but the oldest Jomon 
wares are hardly works ot art 




Aion^the tianksol the Zagros 
r.inge early tarming 
communities made a wide 
variety ol female tigurincs and 
painted pottery in relatively 
pic styles 

Egypt/ Africa 
It IS hkely that some ot the 
engravings of wild animals on 
the rock cliffs of the Nile 
valley were made at this time. 
Like most such art they are 
difficult to date. 


The most accomplished work 
was that of the pot painters, 
particularly those of the 
Hassuna, Samarra and Halaf 
cultures The geometric and 
occasional animal designs 
are in red, brown or black on a 
cream or butt background 
The finest Halaf ware, some of 
which dates from after SOOO 
BC, may be polychrome, red, 
black and white These same 
peoples made a vanety ot 

es in pottery and stone 

8000- 5000 BC 


The villagers of Tell 
cs Sawwan by the Tigris 
were active artist crafts 
people They carved 
shapely vessels and 
standing and sitting female 
figunnes in alabaster as we]l 
as painting pottery m the 
classical Samarran style Of 
the vndespread Halaf 
painted pottery some of the 
tinest polychrome ware 
comes from Arpachiyah, 
near Mosul 

Alabauer statuettt with 
inlays Telle:, Sawv, an 


Polychrome pottery plate. Halaf period. Arpachivah 


The Late Hunting people 
were probably responsible 
for carving elephant, 
antelope, sheep and many 


surfaces in the upper Nile 
valley They are mostly 
rather crude, some being 
drawn in outhne, others in 
sunk rehef. These dravnngs 

inrock were scratched 1 


Eastern Mediterranean 

The numerous shrines 
among the houses of Catal 
Huyuk are the oldest 
religious buildings com- 
pletely furnished with 
works of art. The murals 
include painting and 
plaster cut-outs. They 
depict hunting and cultic 
scenes, including bulls and 
funerary vultures A 
painting of the town with 
an active volcano behind 
ranks as the earhest known 
landscape. Some walls have 
bulls' heads in which real 
horns and frontal bones are 
incorporated. Other plaster 
rebels represent the 
goddess, rows of breasts, 
and in one instance con- 
fronted leopards. Stone and 
terracotta cult images show 
the goddess in different 
aspects, also versions of her 
male companion (compare 
Laussell. In the finest of 
these the goddess is seated 
between two leopards as 
she gives birth to a child. In 
others she is giving birth to 
a bull or ram. The variety of 
subiects, styles, techniques 
in the art of these fertility 
shrines is extraordinary. 

Wall painting of a volcanu 
eruption, (^atal Huyuk 

Wctiein Mediteriancjin 

The ruck pjintinK> ot 

Spjin »' 
trom (he daily lilcol the 
hunicrt and their women 
In the rrci.|uent huntinx 
scene* the men arc often 
shootinx with how and 
arrow A.s well as deer, the 
(tame includes boar, ibex, 
wild non and cattle In style 

thin art has much in 
common with the tar later 
bu»hman paintinjctol 
Southern Africa 

V' . 

C/jvfi,«unnfiitv;riJiii.>M;n i/isbirt/i.C'jlj'Hiivuk Tlirkev ^ I 

Rock painting ol a hunting scene. Castelldn. Spain 

Red deer hunt scene, (^awl Hiiyiik 

-^ V. 

Continenul Europe 
Among the animals carved 
in amhcr by the hunter- 
tishcrsot Mesolithic 
Denmark are a bird, a bear 
and an elk s head The head 
shows the kind of fine 
engravings that these 
people often made on their 
implements The fishmg 
community of Lepenski Vir 
on the Danube carved 
grotesque human figures 
and heads in stone They 
seem to have been a local 

Caned head Yugosla' 



Among the mo»t Hinking of 
many Codde<t!> figurines 
frimi the early farming 
villages along the flanks of 
the Zagros are two from 
TepcSarab I hey have 
huge breasts and thighs 
These same villagers made 
spirited boar figures which 
they stabbed, probably as a 
rue ol hunting magic 

\hither Goddess" Ugiinne 
jv.Tepe Sarah. Iran 

Far East 

The (apanese were 
beginning to make simple 
pottery but its fine plastic 
decoration develops only 
after 5000 BC There is as 
vet no evidence that the 
Chinese began painting 
pottery before that date 

The Americas 
Nothing IS known for the 
period that would qualifv 
as a work of art 

Carved am her bear and elk's head. Denmark 

8000- 5000 BC Summary Chart 

Region Economy 

Events and developments 


Umm Dabaghiyah 
TeU Halaf 

Early farming develops and spreads in 
northern foothUls in 7000-6000. First 
settlement m northern plain 6000. 
Fu-st setdement of lower Sumerian plain 
during 6th M- 

Small population of hunters and fishers 
from Delta to 2nd Cataract. First fanners 

by 5500. 


Hacdar (vdlage) 
Catal Huyuk 

Levant and Anatolia lead way in mixed 
farming and rare town life from 8000. 
Farmers arrive in Greece and Crete c.6000. 
Trade in obsidian. 

Western Mediterranean 


Hunting and food gathering continues 
until farmers begin to spread to Italy, 
south of France and Ibena c.6000. 
Hunters persist in hinterlands. 

Continental Europe 



Spread of forests. Hunting life continues 
with increase in fishing and f owhng. 
Sea levels rising: isolation of Britain 










Ganj Dareh 

Very early spread of farmers, mainly 
sheep herders along Zagros. 
Hunting and food gathering continue 
m India. 




Far East 

Numerous sites but 

Hunting, fishing and food gathering 

,:/ ^' 

none outstanding 

continue. Strandloopers in japan 
Possibly some farming in N. China 
before 5000. 



El Riego 



Big-game hunting dies out except on 
plains of N. America. Small-game hunting 
and plant gathering. Beginnings of plant 
growing in Mexico by 6000. 

The economy bar graph indicates 

relative proportions of these factors: Irrigation 

22 Agriculture^ HunringK Urban life cS Traded 


Technology and inventions 



Fcrtiliiy culls with 

Kmalc tiKurincs ami 


Dead buricJ with 


occasiunally red 


Domesticated sheep and goau, barley 

and wheal 


Pottery 6<XX1 

Kilns and ovens Mudbrick 


Small rectangular houkcsul pise oi 
clay slabs Interior planter Mudhnik 
altera SIX) Shrines 

Painted pottery ligunnck 


Flint implements derived tn.m old 

Stone Age 

Rough pottery from SS(H) 

K..>.l.i.,K..,>..,^...i. I....,- 

Cull of heads- 
ancestor worship- 
Advanced cult ot 
Mother Goddc^,^, 
associated with 
animals Funerary 
cult vultures 

SmaU flint and obsidian tools, including 
sickle blades Polished stone axes and 
dnlls, stone bowls Polterv Irom c 6S0() 
Textiles; obsidian mirrors 
Copper beads and smelting 

Stone town walls and towers Round 
houses in Levant c.SflOO followed bv 
rectangular Two storey town houses 
Large shnnes 

Rcpretcnutional wall painting and 


Stone sculptures in round and relief 
Ceramic figurines Painted pottery 
6th M 

Continuation ot 
hunting cults and 
magic Little 
evidence for iirst 

Dead buried with 
grave goods 

bow and arrows. 

Pottery after 6(XK). Some polished stone. 

Querns, sickles 

Caves still widely in use as dwclhngs 

Rock paintings and engravings. 
Painted pebbles. Impressed pottery 

Continuation of 
hunting cults' 
Dead buried with 
grave goods and 
occasionally red 

Small flint tools and weapons. 
Heavy chipped flint trecfclling axes. 
Antler harpoons; fish hooks, nets and 
traps. Bows and arrows. 

Fhmsy huts often with sunken floors. 
Encampments of four or more 

Earliest Scandmavian animal rock 


Animal sculpture in round of amber 

and stone. Early geometric engravmgs 

Some evidence for 
Mother Goddess and 
animal cults 
Pierced boar figurines 
suggest hunting 

Continuation of small flint implements. 
Some pohshed stone axes. Mortars and 
querns. Earliest known pottery 7000 
Stone bowls Mudbrick. 

Small rectangular houses of clay-slab 
Larger mudbrick houses from 7000 

Female and animal ftgurines. 


SmaU stone tools in China and Japan. 
Pottery in lapan and Thailand by 6th M? 




Chipped flint projectile points Atlatl. 
Pestles and mortars Rough querns 
CoUed baskets. Twined Hbre blankets 

Transient huts and tents 




White marble head of a lady from Umk. Mesopotamia 
Originaily perhaps attached to a wooden body, the eyes 
and eyebrows would have had coloured mlays. 

I he allimponant achievement of this period was unquestionahly the 
>l.iwn t)» Uterate civiUzation A converRence of social, reh>{ious, tech- 
nological and economic advances hrought it to pass, creating true city 
life and various kinds of centralized government Although suhstantial 
towns developed in some of the early centres of mixed farming, notahly 

II the old Zagros territory of southern Iran, it was only in the last two or 
I tiree centuries of the fourth millennium and only in Mesopotamia and 
Egypt that the changes were revolutionary enough to represent a differ 
ence m kind from anything that had gone before We shall find that 
^umena led the way in the development of cities and the first essays in 

itcracv, but Egypt caught up with a bound when united by her divine 
Miicrs of the First Dynastv This period therefore closes with the peoples 
I ot both the great river valleys entering high civilization together, 
although with very different social and political forms. In both, 
however, civilization was shaped and coloured by a totally religious 
view of life and the cosmos. 

Other historical events of this time were in large part an extension 
■f those of the previous period: the further spread of farming to western 
. nd northern Europe and eastward to parts of India and China 

In Europe some of the peoples now reached by the Neolithic Revolu- 
tion came to use their increasing numbers and social organization to 
create a crude yet monumental form of architecture - that of their large 
stone, or megalithic, tombs. For simple illiterate societies to devote their 
spare energies and resources to a creative megalomania has happened 
at other times and places - the most amazing instance being Easter 
Island - but it is not very common and this was its first occunencc. If the 
radiocarbon dating is to be trusted the oldest of these tombs were being 
built from 4500 BC, when temple-crowned towns were springing up in 
Sumeria and that country was taking the lead of the ancient worid. 
Flowever, the building of megaliths spread and reached its climax only 
towards the end of the fourth millennium, contemporarv with the 
unificarion of Egypt and the rule of the first human being known by 
name. This was also the time when the very earliest, and still archi- 
tecturally primitive, temples were under construction in Malu. 

The rapid progress towards civilization inevitably involved appro- 
priate technological advance. In the previous penod inventions had 
been of a domestic kind, of advantage to the home life of fanners. Now 
they were associated mainly with transport, communication and more 
organized trade, or with increasing production for relatively large 

Over the progressive regions of Eiu-asia this period roughly coin- 
cides with the Copper Age, sometimes knovm as Chalcolithic to 
emphasize the fact that stone remained in use for many implements. It 
is not a very well-defined period, yet the name calls attention to the 
growth of metallurgy which was to be one of the most important of 
civilized skills and at the same time a great stimulus to trade. The use of 
native copper for tiny tools, beads and other trinkets among the 
Anatolians and other early upland farmers was mentioned several 
times in the last chapter There were also examples of the small-scale 
reducrion of metal from ores. In the fifth millennium, however, the 
smelung of ores became common and axes and blades of some size 
were cast in open moulds. The setders of the Mesopotamian valley, 
panicularly the Halafians in the north, brought some knowledge of 
copper working with them and would have maintained contacts with 
the mountain zones for ore supplies. Probably the evolution of the 
smelung process was connected with the development of improved 
kilns for firing fine painted pottery and, more generally, with a new 
knowledge of the control and purposeful use of heat. By the end of the 
millennium there must have been specialist coppersmiths who, with 

5000- 3000 BC 

Early First Dynasty faience 
figurines of humans in 
crouching positions. 

their furnaces, crucibles, moulds and ability to 
produce shining liquid metal from dull ores 
would already have been invested with some- 
thing of the awe and mystery that was to sur- 
round smiths in later times. 

There is no doubt that so far as the two 
great river valleys were concerned, it was the 
Mesopotamians who led the way in the pro- 
duction of copper Although its use seems to 
have been introduced gradually into Egypt 
from rather before 4000 BC, Egyptologists agree 
that the techniques were derived from Asia. 
While good supphes of copper ore were avail- 
able in the Sinai desert, Egyptians made little 
use of it before the beginning of dynastic times, 
remaining attached to their exquisite flint work. 
Rather more surprisingly, the Egyptians were 
also the pupils in the highly skilled art of 
faience manufacture which involved the 
synthesizing of glass and copper This was a 
Mesopotamian invention dating from about 
4500 BC which did not reach the Nile until the 
very end of oiu period. The Egyptians came to 
adopt the turquoise-blue glaze with such en- 
thusiasm that it became known as "Egyptian 
faience" and was used for the thousands of 
beads, human figurmes, hippos and scarabs 
that are now scattered throughout the 
museums and cabinets of the world. 

Two related inventions almost certainly 
made during the fourth millennmm were the 
solid wooden cart wheel and the potter's wheel 
or turntable. Both seem to have been made in 
Mesopotamia; the cart wheel is already a 
pictographic sign by 3400 BC and true wheel- 
turned pottery dates from about the same time. 

Although previously there were boats sub- 
stantial enough to carry livestock, these were 
paddle craft; true shipbuilding for oared, sea- 
going vessels was now developed and a simple 
square sail mvemed. These contributions 
to overseas trade are likely to have been made 
by the Egyptians together with the Levantines 
(particularly the people of Byblos who control- 
led what was to become a widespread trade in 
cedar and pine timber). The Egyptians had an 
incentive to harness the winds; the strongly 
prevailing north wind of their valley enabled 
them to sail up river against the ciurent. For this 
simple purpose masts could be fixed even on 
primitive reed boats. 

The greatest contribution the Mesopota- 
mians were to make to the future was an 
invention of a very different kind and of a more 
gradual development: the art of writing. By the 
middle of the fourth millennium the manage- 
ment of the temple estates and their incomes 
(in the form of grain, cattle and other commodi- 
ties) had become so complicated that some 

kind of record was needed. At first simple 
pictograms of the actual material objects were 
drawn. The great turning point came when it 
was realized that a sign could stand for a sound - 
phonetic waiting had begun. At the same time, 
ideograms were used. For example, a disc 
which had once meant "sun" now could stand 
for "time" or "day". As the scribal profession 
and schools developed, the system of combined 
phonetics and ideograms became appallingly 
complicated. The old pictographic element 
almost entirely disappeared when the signs 
were made by impressing the stylus into the 
soft clay tablet to produce the true cuneiform, 
or wedge-shaped, script. It was not until our 
next period that this evolved far enough to 
enable men to write down literary works and to 
adapt cuneiform to other languages beyond the 
original Sumerian. The last centuries of the 
fourth millennium and the first of the third, 
when writing was being forged into a practical 
vehicle for language, are often called the 
Protoliterate Age. 

Meanwhile, for our purpose, the relative 
position of Egypt in the race towards literate 
civilization is of extraordinary interest. There 
seems no doubt that the Mesopotamians (led 
by the Sumerians of the southern plain) were 
the initiators. Pictographic tablets mostly found 
in the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk are actu- 
ally older by perhaps two centuries than any 
Egyptian writing, moreover they are more 
primitive in concept. Egyptian hieroglyphic 
writing when it began in about 3300 BC was 
already fully developed into a combination of 
signs for sounds and for ideas. This was attained 
only by evolution in Sumeria. We know that 
there were contacts between the two lands at 
this crucial time and it seems likely that 
Egyptian intellectuals must have taken the 
notion of writing from the Sumerians. But the 
Egyptians deliberately invented an almost 
totally different form. The Egyptians' own 
name for their writing meant "speech of the 
gods" and this is expressive of the fact that 
Egyptian hieroglyphs were from the first con- 
cerned with royal inscriptions for the divine 
pharaohs rather than with account keeping as 
in Sumeria. 

One of the most marvellous and significant 
objects ever unearthed by archaeologists is the 
great carved slate palette from the old southern 
capital of Hieraconpolis. On it was vmtten the 
name of King Narmer, the earliest name of an 
individual we have been able to read. Narmer 
was probably the first king of Dynasty I. The 
names of most of the succeeding rulers of this 
dynasty are recorded in inscriptions, together 
with references to their activities, so we are at 

The electrtim wnli's head 

^„. -n,„., • >f .,„p,,. 

tjr. Llh. 

th. . .;:iJ 

the . ,. -lilcd 

with bitui'.ic:'. LU^inim 
and copper pins attach 
the separate ears, lower \aw 
and teeth to the head 

once more in touch with these ancient mon- 
archs than with their contemporaries in 
Mesopotamia. More remarkable still is the 
great invention of papvnis paper made by the 
Egyptians at this time A simplihed, cursive 
script could be wTitten upon it with brush and 
ink. Thus, while the Sumerians led ott the r.ici 
the Egyptians had soon passed them 

In onlv one other region did writing develop 
wnthin 5000-3000 BC and this was in Elam. By 
the time the Egvptians created hieroglyphs, the 
EJamites had a cunous geometric scnpt ot their 
own devising. It was probably inspired by the 
earliest writing of their Sumcrian neighbours 
and toes. 

In later periods we shall see some degree of 
literacy being achieved in land after land, until 
at last it reached western Europe with the 
Romans. Yet all through the Bronze Age of 
3000-1000 BC the indefatigable scribes of the 
two great nver vallevs remained the true liter- 
ates, to whose tablets, papyrac and monumental 
inscriptions we turn for poetry, tales, history, 
laws, letterwriting and science. 

I must also describe one further invention 
of the period which was closely connected with 
writing and also with the nse of trade and 
commerce. This was the cutting of intaglio 
seals to be used as marks of origin or ownership. 
Clay stamps with patterns on them were 
already made by some of the more advanced 
communities of the pre\nous period but it is 
not certain that they were employed in this 
way. At about the rime of their first experi- 
ments in pictographic writing, the Sumerians 
began to carve animals and religious scenes on 
cylinders of lapis or other fine stones. These 
could then be rolled on tablets, jar sealings or 
dockets of clay to make single or repetirive 
positives. Sumerian cylinder seals were actu- 
ally imported into Egypt where thev were 
widespread until replaced by the scarab stamp 
seal, more suitable for use on papyrus. From 
time to time I have commented on signs of 
growing self-awareness in man: the rapid adop- 
tion of seals, often used for registenng docu- 
ments, shows the new sense of property and 
ownership that came wnth civnlization and the 
end of kinship communities. There was a con- 
tinuity of meaning as well as craftsmanship 
between these seals of over five thousand years 
ago and those that dangled on the broad fronts 
of confident Victorians. 

I have attempted to outline the principal 
events and advances made dunng 5000-3000 
BC in the progressive centres Because most 
changes occurred after 3500 BC this final half 
millennium has demanded most attention 
Now I must return to the beginning and sketch 


in the general history of the entire pcnod both 
in those centres of progress and outside them. 

In fact the events of these two millennia 
are not easy to interpret in historical terms. 
While in the nonhern part of the Tigris- 
Euphrates valley the Halaf lans still had another 
tive hundred years ot prosperity, villages were 
springing up on the southern plain round Eridu 
and Ur Indeed, the labour of draining the 
Euphrates sw amps and building irrigation 
canals hati probablv begun in a small way 
before 5()(K) BC Little is known of these people 
who first prepared the way for the world's 
earliest civilization except that they were quite 
unlike the various peoples in the upper valley, 
having more in common with their neighbours 
to the north Probably they came from that 
direction, perhaps from the Iranian highlands. 
If so they had much to endure in adjusting 
themselves to the pitiless heat and featureless 
expanse of the alluvial plain. Undoubtedly 
they must have been farmers, but fishing was 
also of importance to them. It is due to this 
interest that we encounter one of the most tell- 
ing examples of continuitv between the villages 
of the f>enod's beginning and the cities of its 
end. From the first \nllage shnne at Endu 
through to the main temple of the historical 
city the same sacred site was used, foundations 
standing above foundations in the accumulating 
mound. Masses of fishbones were found among 
the offenngs in the early shrines and when the 
divinity whose house it was emerged into 
history, it proved to be Enki, god of the sweet 
waters. He was often to be portrayed with fish 
swimming in streams falling from his shoulders. 

About 4500 BC the region was settled by 
people who came to be called Ubaidans. They 
in fact settled most of the sites where the great 
cities of Sumeria were to grow - including Ur 
iwhere Woolley found their remains under the 
silt of the tlood) . Later they spread up the valley, 
succeeding the Halafians and becoming the 
first people to dominate the whole of 
Mesopotamia. Moreover, their influence was 
felt in Syria and Cilician Anatolia. In time they 
grew prosperous, their villages expanding into 
towns. They traded with Syria for timber and 
Iran for copper which they began to employ 
freely. They also established a sea-faring trade 
down the Arabian Cult, where settlements 
have been found along the coast of Saudi 
Arabia. Great quantities of oyster shells suggest 
that these people were not only enjoying shell- 
fish but already seeking pearls. 

Another break in cultural tradition and an 
accelerauon in civic advance began around 
4000 BC. Some historians believe that these 
changes were due to the arrival of the 


Terracotta male figurine of 
the alUbaid period found 
at Endu, Mesopotarma. 
The figure is decorated with 
knobs of clay; some 
paint remains on the face 


Sumerians on the plain, perhaps again coming 
from the north. Others do not accept a distinct 
immigiant group but see the Sumerians as an 
amalgam of all the prehistoric peoples of the 
region. The language, however, when it came 
to be recorded, does suggest a Sumerian tongue 
overlaying a more primitive one that might 
well have been that of the Ubaidans. It also 
contains some Semitic elements and it is likely 
that Semites were already drifting into the 
valley from the western deserts. 

The fourth millennium in Sumeria is one 
of the most remarkable passages in human 
history. Already at its beginning old settlements 
such as Eridu, Uruk, Ur, Lagash and Nippur had 
become substantial tovrtis and from 3500 BC 
they waxed into cities. The citizens now in- 
cluded large numbers of specialist artisans - 
potters, carpenters, makers of mudbrick, 
coppersmiths - and fine sculptors too. There 
must have been a growing band of merchants 
importing raw materials such as wood, stone 
and copper ore as well as luxury goods. With its 
rapidly growing population and trade, its 
vigorous intellectual and religious life, Sumeria 
made its influence felt through much of the 
Near East. An early caravan route would have 
been established along the Euphrates to bring 
close communication with such places as Mari 
and Brak in the upper valley, where temple 
architecture imitated the Sumerian. 

The cities themselves had grown with more 
dynarmsm than plan; mudbrick houses served 
by crooked alleys and thoroughfares crowded 
the city mound which was dominated by 
magnificent temples. The finest known are at 
Uruk (biblical Erech). There, in a complex of 
huge buildings, perhaps already dedicated to 
the city divinity and Sumerian goddess of love, 
Inanna, they showed every elaboration of pilas- 
ter and colonnade. The facades were enriched 
with cone mosaics in geometric patterns of red, 
black and white. Some temples stood on mas- 
sive platforms, prototypes of the ziggurat. 

It was at Uruk that thousands of the early 
pictographic tablets were found. There is also 
a fine, carved alabaster vase with scenes of 
naked priests bearing sacrificial animals, fruits, 
cereals and wine for the goddess. Standing near 
Inanna is a grandee with a train-bearer These 
scenes and these tablets bring us at once to the 
heart of the new civilization that owed so much 
to centralized government. It is largely by 
chance, in contrast with Egypt, that historians 
have delayed the beginning of Mesopotamia's 
Dynastic period to the third millennium, when 
the names of kings were securely recorded. Yet 
undoubtedly in this abundantly creative 
Protoliterate Age, Sumeria was dividing into the 


i. It v-statcs of historic times, their rulers vaguely 
rciiKinbcrcd m the legendary kin^lists Each 
I city was now nilcd in the name ot its presiding 
god or goddess by an individual known as an 
ensi or Great Man He, in his turn, was served 
by priestly administrators responsible tor the 
temples' ntuals as well as their estates It was 
these officials who telt and met the need 
for writing. 

Across the Tigris we have seen how the 
Elamites were stimulated to produce their own 
script, while in Susa, their chiet city, talented 
potters turned out some of the most delightful 
potter\' in the world Trade beyond the mountain 
routes to the orient brought prosperity to towns 
such as Sivalk, Hissar and Anau It has recently 
come to light that as far east beyond the Zagros 
as Tepe Yahya in the Soghun Valley, citizens of 
modest -sized towns were capable of writing in 
the Elamitc scnpt by 3200 BC 

But long before this, farming had been 
spreading from Iran into northwest India and 
settled villages grew among the foothills and 
mountains of Baluchistan, Sind and in the 
Makran. To the east of the River Zab, villages 
spilled down from the foothills on to the Indus 
plain. They were small but cndunng places, 
many of them still thriving when the Indus 
cities were built during our next period. These 
villages may have taken their farming from 
Iran, but local domestication was possible 
because these first Indian farmers already 
had the massive, humped zebu breed among 
their cattle. 

It was also at this time that fully developed 
mixed farming was established in China. 
Indeed, if the very scanty radiocarbon dates are 
I confirmed, this had happened by the beginning 
I of the period, rather earlier than in India. The 
first farmers occupied only a limited area, 
cultivating the fertile loess lands along the 
Yellow (Huang Hoi and the Wei rivers - | 

although before 3000 BC cultivation had 
spread down the valley. To the north and south 
as well as in Japan, life continued very much as 
before. The Yang Shao farmers, as they are 
called, were at a typically New Stone Age or 
Neolithic stage of development. They had 
small, self-sufficient villages and were totallv 
dependent on chipped, and a few polished, 
stone tools. Their huts were neat and sturdy, 
some round, some rectangular, with thatched 
roofs supported on stout posts. White clay was 
used for floors, ovens, cupboards and benches 
The villagers grew millet and wheat (but not 
rice as yet), were fond of pork hut also had 
some sheep and cattle Their settlements must 
have been noisy vnth dogs, for they kept many 
and may have eaten them - like the Chinese of 

ted heakei hum Suso. 

^ frirrr n( hmf. necked 

.1....,,/ , 

"1 standard 

it man's Ciirliest 
■ jmong the 

covered i 

Entcd, U 

n a cave near 

r:ic! The 'standard 

5000- 3000 BC 

Small female figarme 
perhaps a dancer of, 
clay. A funerary offering 
found at Mamarija, Libya. 

today. Their one artistic outlet was in beautiful 
painted pottery, including the magnificent full- 
bellied funerary jars. 

Many specialists today maintain that this 
Yang Shao culture was indigenous, created by 
the local folk with virtually no outside contacts. 
Yet wheat and probably sheep must have had 
western origins and the painted pottery 
appeared fully perfected from the beginning. 
The pottery is generally, though not specifi- 
cally, similar to painted ceramics of western 
Asia, particularly to those of Turkmenia and 
Iran. Isolated though Yang Shao appears, as a 
rational diffusionist I think it is incredible that 
there was not some significant relation between 
the two traditions. Painted ceramics of this 
kind, from eastern Europe to China, fall within 
the well-defined limits of the sixth to the early 
fourth millennia. Surely the coincidence is 
too great? 

Having followed the influences of the ris- 
ing Mesopotamian civilization to their limits 
and then gone beyond them to observe the 
continued expansion of simple farming into 
India and China, I must now return westward 
to see how the world's first recorded royal 
dynasty emerged in Egypt late in our period. 
The land of the Nile, as we have seen, was 
briefly influenced by Mesopotamia, but be- 
cause of the opportunities offered by this 
immense and extraordinary valley, the 
Egyptians soon caught up with the Sumerians 
and in some ways siupassed them. 

The ancient Egyptians were always to call 
their country the Kingdom of the Two Lands 
and to express their sense of the unity of oppo- 
sites in a rich symbolism. Lower Egypt, the 
delta, had its red crown, its papyrus and bee, 
and its protective cobra -goddess Wadjet; Upper 
Egypt, the six hundred miles of valley to the 
First Cataract, had its white crown, its sedge 
and its culture-goddess Nekhbet. The unifica- 
tion of the Two Lands under kings who wore 
both crowns first took place at this time and 
became a great recurring theme in both history 
and mythology. Whenever the pharaohs and 
central government weakened, the Two Lands 
were liable to split apart and there would be 
renewed struggles to join them together again. 

The conditions of life in Lower and Upper 
Egypt in fact differed in a number of ways. The 
delta had a considerable rainfall, and in early 
times the NUe branched into a dozen streams 
dividing the land into sections. Such watery 
conditions favoured meadows, pastures, 
gardens and vineyards. Moreover, because it 
looked out onto the Mediterranean, to some 
extent it belonged to that world. Upper Egypt 
was over six hundred miles of almost rainless. 

enclosed valley, where the great unifying 
thoroughfare of the Nile was bordered by 
narrow ftrips of alluvial soil. Its high fertility 
was regularly renewed every year between July 
and November when the flood deposited 
mineral-rich silt from the highlands. The early 
cultivators had only to tread their seed into the 
mud for bumper crops to grow in the delicious 
climate of winter and early spring. Two crops 
were often to be raised in a year 

I have already said that, just as in Sumeria, 
cultivation had begun in a small way before 
5000 BC. Grain, livestock and farming skills 
were of Asian origin. Little enough is known of 
these pioneers, but during 4000-3500 BC we can 
watch them developing their villages and small 
towns, together with their arts and crafts. 

The life of these earlier predynastic 
Egyptians was essentially similar to what we 
have seen in many other places. They grew 
wheat and barley, kept sheep, goats and cattle - 
and pigs in the north. They also had flocks of 
geese. Everyone liked to go fishing and fowling 
among the reed beds or hunting ibex, gazelle 
and hare in the wadis, which at that time had 
not become desert. Perhaps it was all a little 
easier thanks to the Nile. Life might have been 
more peaceful and intimate than on the bound- 
less plain of Sumeria and this contributed to a 
more relaxed, hopeful and conservative view 
of the world. 

Certainly, despite the simplicity of their 
huts these Egyptians enjoyed some elegancies: 
they wove linen, used fine oils for cosmetics 
and ground malachite on ornamental palettes 
for eye shadow. Their country was dividing up 
into districts or nomes, and no doubt the chiefs 
and their wives who controlled them had ac- 
quired some dignity. With the extension of 
irrigation and plentiful food, population and 
settlement size grew fast. 

Yet if one could have travelled from 
Sumeria to Egypt about the year 3500 BC there 
is no doubt that Egypt would have seemed very 
rustic and backward in comparison. In most 
places there were clusters of huts instead of 
compact towns, modest shrines in place of 
monumental temples, very little metallurgy 
and probably few specialist artisans in general. 
The social organization was still largely tribal, 
and perhaps most significantly, no chieftain 
was big enough to appear with train and 

Only a few centuries later all this had 
changed and Egypt was set to surpass 
Mesopotamia in grandeur if not in influence. 
What had caused this great leap forward? Every- 
one is agreed that it was a sudden, strong 
stimulus coming directly or indirectly from the 


Sumerian civilization. It shows not only in the 
seals and script, in the style and subject matter 
of art, but most teliui^ly, in a monumental 
architecture with obvious Sumerian features. 
It is, however, disputed whether these Asian 
elements were introduced by peaceful infiltra- 
tion or by "an invading Dynastic race" who 
made themselves the rulers ot the native 
Egyptians Bunais have shown the influx ot a 
taller, more round-headed race dunnj; this late 
predynastic penod, while works of art depict 
what look like battles of conquest. 

Certainly this era must have seen groupings 
of names under ambitious rulers until the close 
of predynastic times when it is thought that 
Upp>er and Lower Eg>'pt had been welded into 
single kingdoms confronting one another in a 
struggle for supremacy. The southerners were 
victorious and united valley and delta under 
their rule According to later legend the great 
unifier was called Menes. It seems most likely 
that this was a title given to Narmer of the 
famous palette, which portrays the king as ruth- 
less conqueror, weanng the white crown on 
one side, the red on the other. Suddenly we are 
in a world of civilized statesmanship. As an act 
of conciliation, Menes-Narmer founded a new 
capital city at Memphis near the junction of 
valley and delta, and there also seem to have 
been interdynastic marriages and religious 
changes to cement the union. 

Cultural advance was equally rapid. Gold 
was fashionable, copper was common enough 
to be used for all kinds of tools -including 
those needed for fine carpentry and cabinet 
making. In the elaborate mastaba tombs of the 
kings and queens of Dynasty I was found a 
great wealth of exquisite stone and good copper 
vessels; turquoise, lapis lazuli and gold jewel- 
lery; ivory gaming sets and enough wine to last 
all eternity. 

Partly because the kingdom was still less 
urbanized than Sumeria and trade outside its 
immediate border smaller, Egypt had less influ- 
ence on her neighbours. Yet she was to have 
maritime traffic with the eastern Mediter- 
ranean, including, as we have seen, with the 
Levantine port of Byblos. 

At this time, however, Syria and Palestine 
generally remained more in touch with lands to 
the north. The geographical position of this 
region made it inevitable that it should always 
be one of mixed populations and cultures being 
subject to nomadic incursions. In the earlier 
part of the period farmers and herders lived in 
the Negev on the edge of the Sinai desert. At 
Beersheba they avoided the heat of day and the 
cold of night by burrowing into the loess to 
make a human warren of rooms and passages. 

The -Hunters Paletle~. 
HieraconpoLs. Egypt Kilted 
hunters ainying an 
assortment of weapons are 
shown engaged m 

An ivory label found at 
.4bvdf>s. Bxypt, .shows a 
king of Dynasty I sinking 
an enemv Such labels can 
be used tor dating purposes 
as they are related to annual 
events within each reign 

5000- 3000 BC 

One of a pair of clay 
figurines from a tomb at 
Cernavoda, Rumania. Both 
figures were coated with a 
black-brown shp and 
modelled in the same 
fashion. Both show stumpy 
feet and tilted heads. The 
rather obese female shown 
below is sitting on the 
ground with her hands 
resting on a raised knee. 

Yet these troglodytes were by no means primi- 
tive. They imported turquoise, ivory and shells 
for ornaments and they were skilled copper- 
smiths and ivory-carvers. The ivory figurines, 
probably serving a fertility cult, are among 
the weirdest and most singular of the age. 

Another, rather later, style of living is repre- 
sented by the Ghassulians who were widespread 
in Palestine. Their settlements of rectangular 
mudbrick houses with mural decorations on 
stone foundations were verging on towns in 
size. They seem also to have had public halls 
and temples, though of very modest size in 
comparison vnth their contemporaries at Uruk. 
In some time of trouble the copper treasure 
belonging to one of these humble-looking 
temples near the Dead Sea was WTapped in 
matting and hidden in a cave. The 600 pieces, 

including a crown and many beautiful ritual 
sceptres, now make a dazzling display in the 
national museum in Jerusalem. 

During the last centuries of the fourth 
rmllennium the Levant could not remain un- 
affected by the ferments of civilization in the 
great river valleys. Mesopotamian influences 
were strong in Syria. There were incursions, 
possibly of Semites, from both north and east. 
Towns began to grow. Byblos was probably the 
richest and most advanced of them, with its 
material needs served by its perfect little har- 
bour and its spiritual needs by its presiding 
goddess (patronized by the Egyptians). There 
were tovms at Ugarit, Hama and Megiddo. 
Jericho, with its strategic command of the pass 
into Syria was still occupied. In many other 
places that were to become towns there were 
settlements at this time, but, as a whole, 
civilization was static in the Levant. 

Anatolia also is undistinguished in this 
intermediate period between the precocious 
achievements at Catal Hiiyiik and Hacilar and 
the revived vigour of the Bronze Age. The life 
of the farmers went on much as before, with 
copper tools becoming more plentiful. Many 
communities had their own painted pottery but 
otherwise the arts were at a low ebb. Only in 
the southeast, where there were contacts with 
the Levant and northern Mesopotamia, was 
there much sign of enterprise. Here the ancient 
settlement of Mersin had a stormy history and 
about 4500 BC was strongly fortified, apparent- 
ly by native Anatolians against their eastern 
neighbours. The stout walls of mudbrick on 
stone foundations had slit windows lighting 
the barrack rooms behind. There was also a 
house for the chiefly commander. The inhabit- 
ants had a plentiful supply of copper for both 
tools and weapons - but their principal arma- 
ment was the sling. They are sometimes 
credited with a minor but useful invention - 
the attachment of handles to pots. In about 
4350 BC this early citadel fell and thereafter 
the power of the Levant and the Ubaidans of 
Mesopotamia was paramount for some 

Elsewhere there were settlements in a 
number of places that were to flourish in the 
next millennium, including Beycesultan in the 
Upper Maeander valley. Here there was a size- 
able agricultural settlement (of the usual mud- 
brick houses) that had some added prosperity 
through commanding a ford on the natural 
route from inner Anatolia to the Aegean coast. 
Once again the inhabitants were well supplied 
with copper and had some silver and probably 
gold ornaments. 

Connections between Anatolia and terri- 

tones to the west continued, but, panicularly in 
the Balkans, there was much vigorous local 
initiative leadiuR to prosperous local cultures. 
Yet the settlement of hitheno unmhabited 
islands tnistrates those who wouKl have us 
believe that all such progress was due to intern 
al growth ani.1 none to movement and liittusion 
It seems to have been durui); the htth nullen- 
nium that men tirst settled a number ol Aegean 
islands, including the delectable Cvclades - 
though thev had earlier visited Melos tor its 
obsidian The small tortitieil citadel ot Himmi 
near the coast ol Thessaly also suggests an 
invading force - most likely led by a chiefly 
family who lived in the megaton type of house 
of the innermost enclosuav The inhabitants 
made an outstandinglv attractive spiral-painted 
pottery which spread to other settlements in 
the region. In general, the village communities 
of Greece, Crete and the Aegean maintained 
the New Stone Age way of life much as before. 
It was not until the very end of our present 
period that they took a quick step over the 
threshold into the opening of a wonderfully 
creative Bronze Age. 

It was in the Balkans that the early Neo- 
lithic farming peoples, while still having trade 
and perhaps other contacts with Anatolia and 
the Mediterranean, produced thnving and pro- 
gressive communities that seem to have the 
same dynamism and boldness of invention that 
had possessed some of the Anatolians over a 
thousand years before. In the south, in Bulgaria 
and much of Rumania, they built their houses 
of mudbrick in the Asiatic style. Further north, 
where wood was plentiful, the houses were of 
timber framed with ridge poles and gables, 
often walled with clay and wattle, a type of 
construction that was to be favoured in central 
and eastern Europe. Many of the villages were 
substantial and permanent enough to form 
large mounds. One of the largest was at Vinca, 
on the Middle Danube close to Belgrade, and 
another at Karanovo in southern Bulgaria. 

Their cultural vigour is apparent in both 
technology and art. From 450() BC these ef- 
ficient farming peoples took advantage of the 
abundant sources of the metal to develop 
copper working on a large scale. They even had 
both the material and the skill to cast heavy 
axes with cylindrical holes to take the haft - 
almost certainly the earliest metal shaft-hole 
axes ever to have been made Their artistic 
powers showed in ceramics; the Asian tradition 
of painting was giving way to sterner, stronger 
forms which the potter created by incising 
spiral and other bold motifs on dark surfaces. 
To the northwest of the Black Sea, however, in 
Rumania and the Ukraine, paint was sull pre- 


The mate Unurme ol the 
pan iiu on a lour kgfied 
ftex)l iboth ol one piece) 
wtih his urni.i propped on 
hi\ knee-s Ttte loldt ol hu 
cheeks are pushed up by his 
hands and the pose reflects 
a pensive attitude These 
U:iures were certainly 
< li:iiousinmetininn 

ferred even in the fourth millennium and some 
of the most striking of all prehistoric painted 
pottery was designed there. 

The most interesting artistic creation of 
these Balkan peoples is their modelled figurines. 
Men and animals appear, but females greatly 
predominate and there can be little doubt that 
these figurines are rooted in the old Mediter- 
ranean and Asian mother-goddess cults. Some, 
however, have to our eyes a curiously modern, 
secular look. The sheer genius of an artist 
working in eastern Rumania can be seen in the 
seated figures of a woman and a man. These 
widely famous figures came from a tomb 
(Cernavoda) and were certainly religious in 
meaning. The Vinca people produced many 
finely stylized cult figures, made pots in human 
form and gave others weird "owl-faced" lids. 

5000- 3000 BC 

While the Balkans prospered, the exceptional 
dynamism of the early farmers was even 
more evident in their immense colonizing 
spread towards the west. One of the peoples of 
our previous period had developed their own 
sturdy tradition centred on Hungary and adja- 
cent loess lands. Their way of life had much in 
conmion with tneir Balkan neighbours, yet 
their social customs must have been quite dif- 
ferent. They lived in spaciously laid out 
villages of very long solid wooden houses (up to 
30 metres) which supposedly sheltered an 
"extended" family with their several groups of 
parents and children. These Danubians, as 
they are conveniently called, spread along the 
loess lands of central Europe, on into northeast 
France and the sonthern Netherlands. Over 
the whole of that vast area their farming, 
housing, habits, tools and pottery were all so 
nearly identical that even the most hardened 
anti-dif fusionists cannot deny that we are en- 
countering here the fairly rapid spread of a 
people. To grow their wheat, barley and 
legumes they probably cleared the land of 
vegetation by burning, the fertility of the soil 
soon being exhausted. If they had to wait years 
for its restoration, new land ahead was always 
attractive. The Danubians probably reached 
their westernmost limits (well short of the 
North Sea coast) very early in this period and 
so were the first to bring a fully-fledged farming 
hf e to the fringes of western Europe. Later they 
split into various groups that remained for 
many centuries. 

It was not very much later, however, that 
farming with the same basic livestock and 
cereals was spreading to the west from the early 
settlements of the Mediterranean coasts. It was 
probably from them that the hunting peoples of 
Denmark and south Sweden first learnt and 
adopted the farming arts. 

In the period 8000 - 5000 BC we saw the 
rather tenuous early settlements on the Medi- 
terranean coasts of Italy, the south of France 
and eastern Spain. Now with rapidly increasing 
populations villages multiplied throughout 
southern Italy and Sicily and round the coasts 
of the Iberian peninsula - although in the harsh 
and mountainous hinterland hunting tribes 
maintained their more exhilarating, more pre- 
carious way of life. Farming was also carried 
northward and westward through France only a 
few centuries after the earliest settlement of the 
communities in Brittany by about 4800 BC and 
in the British Isles a few centiuies later 

This spread of farming from the south and 
southwest, although well-supported by radio- 
carbon dating, was of a very different kind from 

that of the Danubians, and showed an infinite 
variety of cultural traditions. For example, in 
southern Italy most people lived in deeply en- 
trenched villages or homesteads, in the south of 
France and Iberia cave dwelling was still popu- 
lar, in Switzerland and north Italy there were 
the lakeside pile dwellings, and in Britain hill- 
top earthworks. The pottery, flintwork and most 
other things made by these peoples were 
equally various. Only in the original Asian 
foundation of their main foods - wheat, barley, 
sheep, cattle (some locally domesticated), pigs - 
and in common use of polished stone imple- 
ments, was there a clear unity. There may also 
have been religious and cultic bonds. One ex- 
planation would seem to be that in this part of 
Europe the hunting peoples were well estab- 
lished and played a large part in creating and 
varying the new farming cultures. 

Trade, though of a small and often local 
kind, was of some importance in the distribu- 
tion of superior material - obsidian, fine flint, 
hard igneous stones - for polishing. Here also 
we encounter the first west European industry: 
the mining of fresh flint from its native chalk in 
England and Belgium. It seems to have started 
by 4000 BC although the largest, most famous 
example of all. Grimes Graves in East Anglia, 
may belong to our next period. 

I am left with the best known and most 
extraordinary creations of these New Stone Age 
communities: the megalithic tombs, menhirs 
and stone rows formed from massive, normally 
unhewn blocks. They were widespread where 
suitable stone was available and even today the 
tombs can be numbered in the thousands. 
Virtually all were intended for the same pur- 
pose: to bury the dead communally and over 
several, sometimes very many, generations. 
Some received as many as a hundred bodies, 
accompanied only by modest possessions. As 
many of the finest tombs are on the coasts and 
as their building spread rapidly not only to 
Britain and Ireland but to the remote Atlantic 
isles of the Hebrides and Orkneys, there seems 
to me no doubt that they were often the mauso- 
lea of farming groups who had sought new land 
by sea routes. Nor do I find it possible to doubt 
that the tombs - despite the variety from small 
"dolmen" to awe-inspiring passage grave - 
represent some community of cult, possibly 
centred on notions of rebirth through the god- 
dess whose symbols appear occasionally among 
them. This unity is particularly obvious in such 
great passage graves as those of Breton Gavfinis, 
Hougue Bie in Jersey, the marvellous Irish 
group round New Grange and Maes Howe in 
the faraway Orkneys. There is also the potent 
common symbolism of megalithic art, particu- 

Elaborate spiral decorauon 
IS found on an enuance 
stone to the passage grave 
at New Grange. County 

larly of the spirals, arcs and serpents carved iii 
Brittany and Ireland 

Radiocarbon dating seems to have shown 
that the earliest tombs, several oi which are in 
Brittany, were being built from about 4'i(K) BC 
at the tmie when the citizens ot Eridu and Uruk 
were beginning to raise their public temples 
They therefore represent the oldest monu- 
mental stone building in the world. Most, how- 
ever, date from after 40(X) BC and their building 
as well as use continued into the next millen- 
nium. New Grange, at about 33(X) BC, is a near 
contempiorary of the great temples of Uruk with 
their columns and mosaics. 

From about 3500 BC copper was coming 
into use in Italy and Spain. In southern Spain, 
nch in copper ores, the farming communities 
prospered and lived in quite large settlements, 
some of which later came to be fortified. One, 
Los Millares in Almeria, has a cemetery of 
passage graves, the first of which may have 
been built before 3000 BC, but Los Millares 
and its Portuguese counterparts belong more 
properly to the next period. 

In the Americas progress was slow, but not 
unimportant for the future. In Mexico, in much 
the same regions as the earliest experiments in 
food production, beans and maize were con- 
siderably improved in yield; they were now 
usually cooked instead of being eaten raw. Yet 
cultivation still produced a very small propor- 
tion iif the total t'odd supplv - InTehuacan it 

5000 -3000 Bc: 

has been estimated as about 14 per cent. In thr 
Andean highlands of South America there m.i\ 
have been some cultivation of popcorn as well 
as of beans, and guinea pigs were now bred to 
eat There is evidence that llamas were becom- 
ing domesticated as food animals 

Late in the period the craft of pottery made 
its first appearance in the Americas Surprising- 
ly, this invention was made not in Mexico or 
Peru but in coastal settlements in Ecuador. 

Over nearly the whole of North America 
food collecting and hunting prevailed but they 
were becoming increasingly varied and ef- 
ficient. The use of polished stone tools,ohen of 
fine quality, began in about 50(XJ BC Hunters 
became more fully adjusted to the conditions 
of the eastern woodlands and population ex- 
tended into the north. There was also a curious 
local development showing man's readiness t( ) 
seize exceptional opportunities. The hunter- 
fishers round Lake Supcnor discovered large 
quantities of native copper on their territories 
They mined it and made a great range of tools 
by hammering it either cold or hot. So in a 
continent where metal was to be so little used, 
the Great Lakes had a little Chalcolithic Age in 
the fourth millennium BC. 

In the southwest, in the high country, on the 
borders of New Mexico and Arizona, the 
Cochise food gatherers were beginning to 
grow some maize. It can safely be assumed that 
it was introduced from Mexico. 



5000- 3000 BC 

Technology 5000-3000 BC 

The world in this penod may be divided into 
three zones of technological competence. 
Firstly, there were considerable areas - most of 
the Americas, all Africa beyond the Sahara and 
the whole of Austraha - where hunting and 
food gathering, with its simple technology, 
continued unchanged and unchallenged. 

Secondly, in three regions - further Asia, 
from north China to Thailand, and two small 
areas in Mexico and central Peru - new groups 
began to master crop cultivation as others had 
already done in southwest Asia. The plants 
they chose to domesticate were locally avail- 
able ones: water chestnut, beans and rice in 
Asia; various beans, squashes and maize in 
America. To these regions should be added the 
greater part of Europe and the Indus, where 
food production was introduced from outside. 
Thirdly and most interestingly there were 
the areas in southeast Europe, north Africa and 
most of southwest Asia where farming had 
long been established and had aheady led to 
notable technological advances. Even here, 
however, there is an apparent change of 
emphasis as the early hill villages lagged, to be 
outstripped to a remarkable extent by new 
settlements on the plains of Sumer and the Nile . 
The reason is simple - the exploitation of the 
plains called for a much higher level of social 
organization, craft specialization and trade, all 
of which stimulated technology. 

This is most obvious perhaps in the inven- 
tion of vmting, a skill quite unnecessary until 
society and economics became so complex as 
to demand an efficient system of recording. 
More efficient transport was found to be 
needed too, and wheeled vehicles were de- 
veloped in Mesopotamia as well as sea-going 
sailing ships in the eastern Mediterranean and 
probably in the Persian Gulf. Craft speciahza- 
tion within the larger settlements stimulated 
advances in pottery making; the potter's kiln 
and wheel are both found at this time. Less 
easily studied are techniques of crafts like 
weaving and carpentry, in which similar 
improvements must have been appearing. 

The most notable advance, and the one with 
the widest implications for trade, craft specia- 
lization, skilled wood working and the 
economy generally, was in the field of metal- 
lurgy. Copper was being worked sporadically 
for beads, pins and other trinkets even before 
5000. But that was only a prelude to the full use 
of metal, based on smelting and casting in 
sufficient quantity to produce functional tools 
and weapons, and leading subsequently to 
experiments with alloys and the earliest bronze 

The Americas 

Hunters continued to develop 
theu flint proiectile points, 
but the food gatherers now 
produced implements such as 
the stone muller Around the 
Great Lakes the discouerymrf 
native copper, v/hich could be 
shaped by cold hammering 
led to the production of 
such tools as the gouge. 

Western Mediterranean 

A simple early farming 
technology spread through the 
area. The very high quality of 
some pottery, however, 
particularly in the Tavoliere, 
imphes that in some fields 
speciaUst craftspeople were 
already at work 



1 1 t 1 1 



1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 

Slone Copper Bronze Iron 


Eastern Mediterranean 
Western Mediterranean 
Continental Europe 


Contincnul Europe 

F.irminis was spreading over a 
wide and diviTM- area, from 
the Black Va to the AtUntic 
The charactcri.stit artiiaas 
were the poUshed stone axes, 
adzes and sickles tor clcanng 
and culuvatin)( fields and the 
potten' tDrstonngandcookiriK 
the various ({rainr. 


In Japan Kttlemcnts based on 
tood KathcrinK - notably 
shellfish - continued and in 
north China early tarminx 
spread widely I'otteryand 
ground stone tools have been 
found in excavated villaKes. 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Metal working was the main 
contribution ot this area to 
technological advance, as 
copper silver, gold and later 
experimental bronze alloys 
were brought into service and 
gradually improved for use as 
tools and ornaments 


With a less advanced metal- 
lurgy, this area's technological 
achievements arc best shown 
in Its wide range of skilled 
potting. Stamp seals hint at a 
more advanced economy 


Progress was made over the 
whole range of human 
technology Copper working, 
potterv, weaving, carpentry, 
even the obsolescent crafts of 
flint Haking and stone vessel 
gnnding, were earned to new 
and remarkable heights, all 
based on the efficient exploiu 
tion ot the Nile valley for 
arable famung Hieroglyphs 
made their first appearance. 

The Tigns-Euphrates plain 
fostered great advances in 
copper working and skilful 
pottery along with cylinder 
seals for protection of property. 
Writing in the form of pi«o- 
graphs and the development of 
the wheel were the most 
impressive achie\ 

5000- 3000 BC 


Writing was devised for a 
specific purpose - business 
accounts - when unaided 
human memory simply 
could not cope. The earhest 
known examples date soon 
after 3500 BC. Numbers 
probably came first, one 
dash for 1, four dashes for 4 
and so on. Words began 
with pictographs - stand- 
ardized and somewhat 
simplified pictures of 
concepts. But many con- 
cepts cannot be pictured, su 
where possible something 
else pronounced the same 
way, a rebus, had to be 
drawn instead. A deter- 
minative - a symbol to 
explain the class of concept 
- might be added. For 
example, \t J would 

Quite soon the limits of 
what could be achieved by 
these principles were 
reached and some phonetic 
system had to be devised. 
Though some symbols 
came to represent pure 
sounds, pictographs were 
not entirely discarded. It 
was in this period also that 
true pottery kilns became 
standardized throughout 
Mesopotamia and the 
wheel made its first 


The invention of the kihi, 
here as well as in 
Mesopotamia, allowed 
higher firing temperatures 
and greater control of the 
atmosphere. The potter 
could oxidize his wares to 
yellow or red or reduce 
them to grey and black. A 
flourishing industry of fine 
stoneware was helped by 
the development of the 
pump drill from the earher 
bow drill. It was weighed 
down with rocks attached 
to the handle and fitted 
with a crescent-shaped 
piece of flint. The vessels 
were ground with abrasives 
and pohshed with sand- 
stone. Writing also 
developed here at this time, 
probably due to 
Mesopotamian influence. 

KE.NS Eaily kilns were ull 
chimney-like structures. 
Mud oi stone was used to 
cover the top. 



tariv cimeitunn table 

KILNS Low, domed structures with floors and vented topi 
were developed topreven tpotterv bemgmarred by open ftnng 

Early wheels were made 
of three sohd wood 
sections cut from a plank 
and joined by cross 
struts, the middle 
piece being the largest. 

bitem Mediterranean 

The practical Jilf icultics 
and intricacies ol carlv 
copper working led to the 
rise of specialized cratts- 
people. Copper first had lo 
be smelted or separated out 
from the aceompaiivui*; 
rock at hijsh temperatures 
Blowpipes of rolled hide 
strips fitted with ceramic 
ends were used to raise the 
temperature m circular 
partly sunken, stone lire 
places. After purityin);the 
meul and perhaps allovin>; 
it, the copper was melted m 
a crucible Then an optn 
mould modelled in terra- 
cotu or carved in a 
refractory stone like steatite 
was heated and tilled with 
the Uquid metal Once 
cooled and hardened, the 
copper tool was lihcd out. It 
was smoothed bv f^ndini; 
and the cutting edjte was 
toufchcncd by hammcnng 

VWestem Meditenanean 

Pottery of varying 
complexity was being 
produced although no kdns 
have been found The 
dipper ladle trom Malta 
is dark and blotchy though 
quite hard fucd. It is a 
typical product of a part- 
time potter and was baked 
in a bonfire The mcised 
bowl from Matera on the 
other hand, is shaped trom 
carefully punfied clay 
boldly painted and 
uniformly fired at a high 
temperature in controlled 
kiln conditions. 

Continental Europe 
Handmade and poorly fired 
pottery with the occasional 
grain of wheat or barley 
preserved as an impnnt in 
the clay is evidence for 
settled farmers penetrating 
the area Further support is 
offered by the sickle for 
crop gathenng and the 
stone adze which was used 
perhaps for tnmmmg 
timber or as a hoe. 


1 Iran-India 

Hie eastward spread of 


• west 



voiinmii were also 

idaptcd to different areas 

M handled ladle.Malu 

Stone iidze bUd: 




Painted pot. Quetui Vjllcy. Indio 

Far East 

Typical farming equipment 
ike the storage lar for 
grain has been found in the 
Yellow River vdlagcs. 
The pohshcd stone adze 
would have served for 
either wood carpentry or as 
a hoe for cultivating the 

The Americas 

The early American food 
producers have left us little 
illustrative matenal and 
while there was a 
precocious use of copper in 
the Great Lakes region, the 
Indian hunters of the Great 
Clams still depended on 
their haftcd, finely flaked 
projectile points. 

Hahed projectile 

5000- 3000 BC 

Architecture 5000-3000 BC 

As the change to food production led to the 
estabhshment of settled villages, the growth of 
those villages and towns led to the develop- 
ment of large-scale architecture. The food sur- 
plus in the fertile Tigris-Euphrates and Nile 
valleys meant that labour was available after 
the primary needs of provision and shelter had 
been met. Furthermore, community effort had 
already been utilized for carrying out public 
works, such as vital irrigation canals and flood 
control banks. 

In Mesopotamia, the natural outlet for this 
surplus effort was temple building, since it was 
believed that the good will of the gods was 
essential to the productivity of the land. To the 
Sumerians, a temple was as necessary as a 
canal, and fortunately for posterity a god might 
appreciate the aesthetics of design where a 
river flood would not. And so the Sumerians 
built temples to the best of their abilities, to 
sweeten their gods but also, one suspects, to 
test and stretch their own technical skills, to 
foster their own ci\'ic pride, and even perhaps 
just to outdo the neighbouring city. 

In Egypt it was the king who commanded, 
not the gods. Monumental architecture was 
therefore directed at building tombs to last 
through eternity rather than temples. The 
mastaba combined a number of functions, as 
grave marker, as storeroom for the offerings to 
the dead, and as symbolic house for the resi- 
dence of the soul of the deceased. Later, when 
the pharaohs themselves came to be worship- 
ped as gods, temples and palaces increased in 
size and importance. 

It would be a mistake, however, to regard a 
vast and efficient agricultural system as an 
essential prerequisite of monumental building. 
Any community with spare time and labour, 
once its primary needs have been met, may 
choose to devote the surplus to building. This 
was true of Malta at this period where an iso- 
lated people, technologically backward in other 
respects, began to build stone temples of sur- 
prising sophistication. And it was true along the 
Atlantic seaboard from Iberia to Scotland, 
where monumental tombs of impressive 
dimensions were constructed. These were both 
firmly community enterprises, not ordered by 
kings or priests. The tombs and the early 
Maltese temples are as monumental as the 
contemporary buildings of the Near East, and 
in their own contexts even more extraordinary. 

The Americas 

The hunters and food 
gatherers, and also the more 
progressive people who had 
begun to produce a small 
proportion of their food 
supplies, continued to live in 
natural caves and simple huts. 



Western Mediterranean 

Scant evidence remains of the 
flimsy huts enclosed in multiple 
rock-cut ditches. Western 
communities constructed 
monumental tombs made of 
large-sized blocks. 


\^,4 1 1 1 

Western Mediterri 

Continental Europe 


Coniincnul Europe 
The Danubun tonKhousc. 
reconstructed Irom the post- 
holes ul itsdccdveJ timbers. 
accommodated .1 cxmmuiuty 
consistiDKx' •> number of 
tjmihes The mcujlithic tombs 
which still stjnd along the 
Atlanuc seaboard were also 
community buildings, but tor 
the dead 

Far East 

Substantial but still simple 
buildings of timber and thatch 
are lound in village settings at 
this umc 

Eastern Mcdiicrtanean 
Architccturallv, the early 
metal using peoples developed 
walled townships, otten with a 
"palace" at the centre Fortified 
settlements may imply the nse 
of an ansiocracv .is well as the 
need for detenco j^jinst 




Monumenul jrchitecture was 
concentrated on tombs. As the 
country moved towards unity. 
Its ruler became powerful 
enough to demand a 
sumptuous resting place for his 

ban - India 

The small village communities 
here produced comfortable 
and competent domestic 
building in the style of their 
western neighbours 



Substantial domestic housing 
was built in various forms, but 
It was the temples of the city 
gods which were the most 
decorated and required the 
more skdhil construction. 

5000- 3000 BC 


With the simplest of raw 
materials, mudbrick, the 
early inhabitants of this 
region achieved extra- 
ordinary results. 
Architectural advances are 
most evident in temple 
building, particularly in 
Sumer; the site of Eridu is 
the best studied. A simple 
but effective innovation 
was the use of an artificial 
mound to raise the temple 
above the humbler secular 
dwellings of the city. It 
might have been meant as a 
substitute mountain on the 
flat plain, or could have 
been the result of burying 
the structure of each build- 
ing in more mudbrick 
before raising its successor 
on the same site, in 
preference to desecrating it 
by demohtion. The temples 
themselves grew rapidly 
larger, more complex and 
more impressive. In 
domestic architecture, 
simple rectangular houses 
with courtyards continued 
as before throughout the 
area, a notable departure 
being the circular houses or 
"tholoi" of Arpachiyah. In 
these the mam room was 
roofed with a corbelled 
vault of mudbrick. 


The ruins of the royal 
tombs preserved in the 
desert allow us to 
reconstruct them as well as 
the vanished palaces on 
which they were modelled. 
The standard building 
materials were mudbrick 
and imported timber The 
mudbrick structures which 
can be traced in plan make 
it clear that simple mastaba 
tombs were greatly enlarged 
and embellished as more 
powerful rulers increased 
their territories and wealth. 
This is evident from the 
reconstruction of the super- 
structure of the tomb of 
Queen Memeith at Sakkara. 

~V Tholos house Arpathnah 


I ulouied stones or pottery 

tones embedded in a plaster 

coating created decorative 


lixdar house. Hassuna 

Superstructure of royai tomb 
with section of interior, Sakkara 

First Dynasty the mastaba 
tombs were reinforced by 
thick walls whose outer 
faces often exhibited a 
"palace facade". 


I Mcdii 

Ounini IS one ol the earliest 
towns known in i:uro|H- 
The domin Jlinx "meKjron 
palace, j lull 
with pillared porch, must 
have been the residence ol 

the ruler and (he 

amcchambcr The settle 
incnt was surrounded by 




The mudbrick rectanxular 
houses ol the area were 
similar to domestic 
buildmK-s in Mesopotamia 

Far East 

' whole villaKcsuf 
iMiher. daub and thatch 
■ uts have been excavated 
Vsai I'an I'o Tsunthe 
lOuses, both rectangular 
<nd circular in plan, were o 
cime sire and complexity 

In somr thr mnf (cither 


by I 

the Kr<'Uii>l 
heiftht was 
means ol s 


ReclanfMlat pit house. 
Pun PoTiun. China 

fortified settlement. Dimw 

Western Mediterranean 
Monumental communal 
tombs were built ol large- 
sized stone blocks 
construction was used in 
the parallel-sidcd gallery 
graves. Some passage 
graves, however, were 
roofed by corbel vaulting. 

Postage Grave, Anto do Silval. Portugal ^ 

Continental Europe 
The long, rectangular, 
gabled houses of the 
Danubians had timber 
frames and wooden lattice 
walls coated with clay. 
Rows of posts supported 
the thatched roofs and 
some hearths have been 

i\ The Americas 

'•^ There were no noteworthy 

' ^ ^tural advances 

,1'-' ■ 

^^. ■P^^anubian long house. KdlnLindenthui. Germany 

5000- 3000 BC 

Alt 5000 -3000 BC 

With its art, as with all other aspects of its 
history, this period is dominated by the first rise 
of Sumenan and Egyptian civilization. 

Before that late phase there had been few 
innovations in artistic creativity although 
there were fresh centres for some old forms, 
notably of painted pottery and figurines. 
Perhaps the most interesting of those few new 
departures was the decorative carving of the 
megalithic tombs of western Europe. The finest 
of this work was done by the New Stone Age 
farmers of Brittany and Ireland. It consists of 
geometric patterns engraved on the stones, 
most often inside the tombs, but occasionally 
on exterior blocks. Most of the designs are of 
spirals, concentric circles or other curvilinear 
forms, but they include some rectilinear motifs 
such as lozenges and triangles. At New Grange 
I Meath, Ireland) the relief is deep-cut and strong. 

Excellent painted pottery now began to be 
produced to the west and east of the old 
centres. The most striking of the European 
examples of this ceramic art come from Greece 
and the Balkans, while in the Far East the Yang 
Shao farmers of northern China began to 
produce their superbly painted vessels. Among 
the almost universal output of figurines 
throughout the Near East and Mediterranean, 
some of the best are again from Greece and the 
Balkans, while the carvings of the Beersheba 
villagers provide a good example of local work. 

The spreading mastery of copper 
technology produced some ornamental work 
that qualifies as art. The vigorous plasric 
moulding and animal heads on sceptres and 
other copper objects from Engedi, Palestine, 
can be seen as representing more work of this 
kind that was melted down for later re -use. 

The art of all other regions, however, must 
appear of minor significance when weighed 
against the great schools of art being founded 
in Mesopotamia and Egypt. They are of 
immense significance not so much for the 
work produced before 3000 BC, remarkable 
though It was, but because they firmly 
established characterisric styles that were to 
inspire the masterpieces of Sumenan and 
Egyptian art of our next two periods. 

It is a paradox of this early phase, that 
while it saw the clear definition of these styles 
it was also the one time in which there was 
interplay between them. Some of the work of 
the late predynastic artists in Egypt was 
undoubtedly influenced by that of their 
Sumerian contemporaries. 

The Americas 

Pottery was being made in 
Ecuador by c.3200 BC. Footed 
bowls are of sound design, if 
fiardly works of art. 

Western Mediterranean 

This region has no very note- 
worthy art that can with 
certainty be dated before 
3000 BC. In southern Italy and 
Its islands farming 
communities made simple 
painted pottery, some with 
incised geometric patterns. 


Continenul Europe 
The most Ji!.tinxui!>hcil 
earlier work^ ol dn jre the 
varied and stnkiriK ligurines 
jnd painted pottery trom the 
Balkans. It is very probable 
that the best dceorjuve art ot 
the mcgahthic tomb.-> ot 
Brituny and Ireland dates 
trom the last tew centuries 
bclorc MXX) EC Hunter tishets 
in the northern rcKuin> 
continued to m.ikc .inimjl 

Eastern Mediterranean 
The Levant has a number o{ 
individual and apparently 
local creations such as poly- 
chrome wall paintings in the 
houses oi Tell el Chassul, the 
Engedi bronzes (p 65) and odd 
Beersheba tiRurines Good 
painted pottery, such as 
Dimlni ware, began to be made 
in northern Greece, while a 
vanety of hgunnes, some 
curvaceous and in free 
attitudes, were modelled in 
Crete, the Aegean and Greece 

Far E4M 

The art nl pntiirv painting 
tertjinlv Ingan quite early 
in this period in vlllagc^ such 
as I'an I'o r»un The 
magniliecnt Yang Shao lars 
painted wnh .piril irnl other 
turviliiii iHv 

burieil .^ ' 

largely.: <«) 

HC-th . 
later In 
lishin»: ^^rc 

now III rh 

modelled i<"ts 



The artists of late Prcdynastic 
and Dynasty I times worked in 
bone and ivory as well as in 
stone Thev were already 

but much ot their work embel- 
lishes weapons and stone 
palettes The subiects already 
rctle« the supreme importance 
of pharaoh, but delightfully 
naturahstic animal studies 
were also made. The Asian 
influence appears in the style 
and even costume of relief 


Most ol the finest works of art 
of this founding time of 
Sumenan art come from the 
ancient southern city of Uruk. 
As civilization developed, its 
artists began to create a 
humane, hierarchical style of 
stone carving - both in relief 
and in animal and human 
figures in the round 


Some of the most attractive 
painted poncry ever known 
was made in western Iran 
during this penod The 
painters used both animal and 
geometric designs Some of the 
best examples come from Susa 
(in ancient Elaml and Tepc 
Siyalk In India the tarming 
villagers were also beginning 
to make potteir and ornate if 
rather quaint f igunncs 

5000- 3000 BC 


Among much remarkable 
sculpture from Uruk (such 
as the head shown in 
greater detail on p. 60| is a 
large pedestal vase in 
alabaster carved with 
religious scenes. "First 
fruits" are being offered to 
the Goddess who stands m 
the top register receivmg a 
bowl of fruit from a naked 
priest. Behind the priest 
stood the king and his train 
bearer Priests, sheep, 
wheat, and palms occupy 
the lower zones. 


The ivory handle of the 
ftedynastic Gebel-el-Arak 
knife shows a battle scene 
on one side and a man 
between confronted lions 
on the other. Sumerian 
mfluence is obvious. The 
"victory palette of Narmer" 

:5 ins [61.5 cms] 
long) exemplifies the 
unification of Egypt under 
Dynasty I. Both style and 
subject matter (the king 
holding and smiting an 
enemy; the horned 

less, Hathor; the Horus 
falconi are already typically 
Egyptian. The grotesque 
beasts on the front still 
show Asian influence. On 
Scorpion's limestone mace- 
head the king, having slain 

Alabaster vase of jcmdet NasrpcTuid. ( Jmk 

Flint knife with carved ivory handle. Cebelel Arak 

Eailcrn Mcdiicrtancjin 

In later NiwMdiu- Aki- 
limes iMitlcrs m imrtlicrii 
Grcc-ti- 1 rhcNNjIvl Ikkjii ii 
paint |M)ts Willi holil 
dcsiKnsol spir.ib.iiul 
meanders, ulten in hl,ick 
and red on a pale Kround 
The style is e.illcd alter the 
fortresMil I)iiiiiiii 

Painted polterv vane with 
spiral desinn. Oimini. Greece 

Painted pot. Lipan. Sicily 

Continental Europe 

In western turope the ^rc. 
innovation ot the period 
was the use of relief 
sculptures on megahthic 
tombs The spiral and oth 
designs had symbolic 
meaning Among th 
well-known compositions 
are those on the passage 
grave of New Grange 
Amber carvings continued 
earlier trad 

Western Mediterranean 
I'aiiiled polterv in several 
ditlereni slvles was made 
III southern Italy, Sicily and 
ilie Aeolian island ILipari). 
Some, like a weaker version 
lit the Greek Dimini ware, 
li.ul spiral designs, but 
llame patterns painted in 

This IS the furthest west to 
be reached in any force by 
the spread of painted 


In southern Iran, partu ti 
larly at Susj, the pot 
painters made a brilliant 
adaptation III animal forms 
into patterns (see p 6S| 
I'urthcr north in the 
uplands, as at tcpe Siyalk, 

51XH) MHH)tU: 

als might lx.-sh<iwn 
realistically The 

painting t 

. in dark hri 

or black on a cream 
background The painted 
beaker shown liclow wa« 
decorated in a typically 
lively style 

Woldenberg, Germany 

Far East 

The finest of the great 
funerary jars in the Yang- 
Shao style of the Chinese 
villagers have a marvellous 
dynamism and sense of 
movement In contrast, the 
l.ipanese lunion potters 
were iniercsted in 
modelled plastic form 

The Americas 

Early pottery was 
practical rather than artistic 

5000- 3000 BC Summary Chan 




Events and developments 


Tepe Gawra 






Valley cleared and irngated by peoples 
from Iran. They push up river and 
dominate earlier northern farmers. 
Sumeria now takes lead. Foundations 
laid for city life and Sumerian 

Clearance and irrigation of valley and 
delta by various groups of farmers. 
Possible invasion by "Dynastic Race" 
ConsoUdation of two kingdoms - Upper 
and Lower Egypt. Upper wins the power 
struggle. Unification under Menes 3200. 
Dynasty 1. 


(— Nanner-) 

Eastern Mediterranean 



Ugarit (Ras Shamra) 




Levant and AnatoUa influenced by 
peoples from Mesopotamia and lose 
cultural leadership. Cyprus prospers 
from copper trade . Growth of towns in 
Cilicia, Syria and Lebanon during 4th M. 

Western Mediterranean 



Aries District 


Campde Chassey 


Mixed farming with villages develops in 
Italy and spreads westward to islands, 
south of France and Iberia by 
5000-4000 BC. 

Continental Europe 

New Grange 

South Brittany 


Sittard (Holland) 



Mixed farming spreads by Atlantic 
coastal and other overland routes and 
by Danube to west and north by about 
4000 BC. 


Tepe Hissar 

Tepe Yahya 


Rhana Ghundai 


Intensification of farming in S. Iran. 
Area influenced by Mesopotamia; 
villages growing into towns during 
5th-4th M. Susa becomes capital of Elam. 
Growth of villages in N.W. India. 


Pan Po Ts'un 
Japan: many shell 
middens, especially 
Kanto plain. 

Further development of farming in N. 
China. Fishing and hunting in Japan in 
larger, more settled communities. 
Farmmg widespread in Thailand and 

Bat Cave 

; food gathering, hunting and 
fishing. Cultivation of beans and 
primitive maize in Mesoamerica and 
southwest N. America. Exper 
cultivation in Peru. 

The economy bar graph indicates 

relative proportions of these factors: Irrigation 

SS Agriculture^^ Hunting tS Urba 

Trade 45- 



TcchnoluKY and inventions 

Archiicclutc Art 

assotutiJ with 
hulls b.tjMi>hmcnt 
o» city KiKlsantf sua! 
to Sumcrun 

C "oppei Mncltiiig and castrnx, laiciu , 
c 4StX) Putterv kiln>. wheel, seals 
•MKX) Writing, tired bricks tSU) 
Expenmental bronze JUX) 

n platlntms Painted pottery Sculpture in relief 
uithconcmosjiiv and in the round ScaU 
..Linown houses 

ll',..l,.s Mouses 

pantheon Horus 
inhuman jnim.ll 
tomi> Divmitvtit 

Early predyna»tic cultures with flint 
and pohshcd stone tixils Hand made 
ponery After <S(10 rapid developments 
in hncn weaving, goldwork, copper 
smelting and casting Potters wheel 
Fine carpentry Spin drill for stone 
vessels Hieroglyphic WTiling 

.VUsiaba tombs Early prcdynastic animal figunnct. 
Palaces palettes and combs Painted pottery 
IcmpUsandshnnes and figurines Late l'rel>ynastit and 
Early Dynastic rehet carvings on 
ivory handles, palettes, macchcads 
and funerary stelae Ivory carving 
in round 

Fcnilitv cult with 
Mother Codde!.* 

Stone and f hnt using during 5th M 
continuing later m Greece and 
Balkans Copper smelling and casting 
in Anatolia and Levant after 4S00 
Sea-gomg saibng ships Earliest bronze 

Fortress (Mersinl Painted pottery Ceramic and ivory 
Simple temples f igunnes Copper animal-headed and 
.Mudbnck and gabled timber houses decorative sceptres (Engedil. 
Mcgaron "halls' 
Underground dwellings. 

Fcrtllitv and Mother 
Cixlde^> cults 
Communal hurial 
Veneration ot 

Flint and polished stone tools Hand- 
made pottery Drystone and large 
stone building Copper working by 
late 4th M 

Megahthic dolmens and passage Engraving on megahths Incised 
Kravcs First rock-cut tombs Earhest pottery figurines. 
Mahese temples Open village huts 
and houses 

Communal bunal 
Veneration of 

Latest microliths, axes, bone and Dolmens and passage graves. Mcgalithic carvings. Figurines. 
antler equipment ot old hunting and Long barrows. Hilltop earthworks. Animal rock engravings. 
fishing cultures Gradually superseded Gabled timber long houses, 
from c 4()00 by pohshcd stone axes 
and adzes, farmers sickles^ hand- 
made pottery 

Feruhty and Mother 
Coddc&s cults 

Stone stiU dominant but copper for Uams for upland valley irrigation. Painted pottery Figurines, 
small utensils. Pottery with kilns and Pise and mudbrick houses Temples Animal moulds. Seal cutting, 
wheel by late 4th M. Seals and writing on platforms Occasional use of 
before 3000. columns 

Little evidence 
Dead huned with 
grave goods 

Chipped and pohshed stone tools ViUages of subsuntial square and Painted and plastic pottery. 
Earlv painted pottery in China. round huts with sunken floors and 
Elaborate, plastically decorated thatched roofs, 
pottery in lapan. 


Continuation of chipped stone spear Fhmsy huts and tents in shifting None preserved, 
heads Baskets and querns spread to camps and villages. 
N America Native copper in Great 
Lakes area 





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^^^^Hf ^^^H^^^^^H^^Byv^SH 


^i^awaJ- -^ ■" " , ."; _. y. ... .^ ~«^J!^ 


W ▼ V'-'V '▼"IF; ■ V^BH 

r>, o 

f vH 


iM / 

- J 

DeUiil from the " War" <ide oi ihe 'Standard' nf Ur The 
opposite side depicts scenes of pence This ob/onjt wtxxien 
box. orniiniented with shell and hmesume flames on a lapis 
lazuli background is probably in fact the soundin$i box of a 
lyre It was found in one of the ettrlicst tombs of the Royal 
Cemetery of Ur Mesopotamia 

1 lll^|XTUHl wasdiic t)\ lulhlnicnt and also ot new pmmist.- Wc have 
Si in liDW in the last centuries of the fourth millennium the Sumerians 
kil the way towards IiikIi civilization and how the tKYptians, after .1 
dawdling start, quickly caught up with them Now their two 
civilizatuins were to ri|xn sinuilianeously - though with very different 
fruits What they achieved during this nullennium represents in many 
ways the height of the Bronze A);e world By 2S(X) BC a third powerful, 
though less creative, civilization had arisen in the Indus valley. If a 
merchant had set out at this time from the orderly, well laid out 
southern Indus capital of Mohenio Daro, taken ship up the Arabian 
Sea, sttipped at the urowinj; enire|Tot at Bahrein, he could have landed to 
do business at the fine city of Ur 7 here he mi);ht have witnessed the 
solemn procession followin>; the royal hearse to the cemetery, where 
the ladles with their gorgeous harps and hair sparkling with gold 
would soon be accepting immolation and burial with their king 
together with all the rest loimnga caravan up the Euphrates 
he could have stopped to deal with the Semites at Man From this city 
he could readily have found fellow merchants travelling to the 
Mediterranean coast where, taking ship at Byblos, it need not have taken 
much more than a week to reach the pharaoh's capital of Memphis. 
He would, of course, have gone out to Giza to see the Sphinx and the 
pyramids with their vast polished limestone surfaces and golden 
peaks. They would have appeared so obviously superhuman that the 
merchant could not have doubted that the pharaohs lying within were 
divine indeed. 

Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus manifest fulfilment: it was in 
the Mediterranean, and particularly in the lands round the Aegean, that 
the third millennium was a time of new promise. Here from Troy and the 
offshore islands, through the Cyclades thriving from maritime 
ventures to Early Minoan Crete, there were already signs of the first 
European high civilization that was in turn to have its enchanting 
fulfilment alter lOtXJBC. 

In technology the most important advance of the time was the 
discovery of alloying - how by adding tin to copper the harder, more 
manageable bronze could be produced. The Sumerians had been 
groping towards this process late in our last fK-riod, but now the right 
proportions were discovered and there was rapid advance in both 
smelting and casting. In progressive areas outside the river valleys, 
eastward to India and westward to Greece, this millennium roughly 
coincides with the Early Bronze Age. Further to the west and north a 
true Bronze Age was not to begin until about 2000 BC, the Chalcolithic 
or even Nei)lilhic technologies lingering on. 

Intellectual innovations were, of course, innumerable: Sumeria's 
scribal colleges were probably first in the production of poetic 
literature, scholarship and elementary mathematics, but Egypt had 
her pyramid texts and abstruse theological literature. The Egyptians 
also seem to have been first with one practical intellectual achieve- 
ment: the establishment of a calendar as early as 3000 BC. The Indus 
people devised their own script, but it was used mainly on their 
beautiful seals and probably remained primitive. 

If the Sumerians led in literature, the Egyptians were supreme in 
the visual arts and architecture. The truly amazing growth of an 
elegant monumental architecture in masoned stone, as well as the 
pyramid (from 2700-2500 BC) is not even approached by the ziggurat 
temples of Sumeria, remarkable though these were. The local Maltese 
temple architecture, relatively small in scale, was probably at its 
height at much the same time. Indus architecture tended to be severe 
and functional and megalithic building in western and northern 
Europe continued but without new inspiration. 

3000- 2000 BC 

In sculpture and painting Egyptian artists 
were in a class apart, the Old Kingdom being 
one of the great epochs of art history. 
Contemporary sculpture in Sumeria was 
vigorous but often crude; it was superior 
however, in Semitic northern Mesopotamia 
and produced fine works such as the supposed 
head of Sargon. This was at a time (Dynasty VI) 
when Old Kingdom art was in some dechne. If 
the Indus people produced much sculpture it 
must have been in wood and have perished, 
yet their few httle masterpieces show a 
sophisticated talent. One other school of this 
third millennium is worthy of a place beside 
those of the three river valleys: that of the 
Cyclades. The stylized cult figures, usually of 
the goddess, and the famous harp and flute 
players have an assured mastery in astounding 
contrast with the naturalism of the high 

I must now fill in the more general 
historical background of these leading events, 
this time beginning with Egypt where, for the 
opening centuries, the historical record is 
much more firmly established than in Sumeria. 
Following unification and Dynasty I, Dynasty II 
began in about 2900 BC. Together these two 
are usually referred to as the Early Dynastic or 
Archaic period. During the Second Dynasty 
progress was held back by renewed fighting 
between north and south. It was only with 
Dynasty III, in about 2700 BC, and the 
beginning of the Old Kingdom, that high 
civilization can be said to have arrived. But 
what an arrival it was! Within a few centuries 
the concentrated wealth and power of the 
pharaohs were used to create some of the 
finest art and most extraordinary architec- 
ture the world has ever known. Zoser, the 
second pharaoh of Dynasty III, had as his 
vizier one Imliotep, the first great man of 
history whose name is known to us for his 
personal gifts and not from royal birth or 
associations. It was his genius that devised the 
Step Pyramid of Sakkara and the marvellous 
temples and tombs associated with it. Here all 
at once was monumental architecture in stone, 
with fine masonry, fluted columns, elegant 
stylized motifs on capitals and friezes, and 
exquisite portrait reliefs. It seems fitting that 
Zoser should also have had the first knov«i 
life-size statue in his tomb. 

Imhotep's genius having pointed the way, 
it took less than two centuries for the Old 
Kingdom to reach its climax under the pharaohs 
of Dynasty IV: Snefru, who built the first true 
pyramid and the three following generations of 
his house, Khufu (Cheops), Khafra (Chephren) 
and Menkaure (Mycerinus). Their pyramid 

tombs at Giza have been called the most 
famous monuments in the world. 

In many ways Dynasty IV was the summit 
of Egyptian kingship. These pharaohs were 
not stewards of the gods but themselves 
divine, immortal sons of the sun god, Re. 
On earth they ruled and taxed a prosperous 
land through a growing network of officials 
from chamberlains, viziers and other exalted 
persons (mainly members of their own family), 
down to the lesser men who controlled the 
nomes. In the afterlife, they were certain 
of joining the other gods in an unchanging 
eternity. Their bodies and the statues within 
which their spirits dwelt were secure in 
pyramids and were worshipped in the ad- 
joining temples. Egypt was a theocracy indeed! 
With it went complete confidence in the 
rightness of things: it can be seen in the calm 
nobility of the statue of Khafra, more humanly 
in those of Menkaure and his wife. There is no 
need to doubt that it extended to their subjects 
who were confident that their divine monarchs 
could keep them in benign harmony with the 
gods and with nature. 

Yet Dynasty IV fell into rapid dechne from 
the reign of Menkaure. With Dynasty V 
(beginning c.2500 BC) the status of the 
pharaohs declined. This may have been due 
to the greater power of the priesthood of Re at 
Heliopolis. Certainly pharaohs of this house 
built huge temples to the god instead of huge 
tombs for themselves. The kingdom, however, 
was still prosperous and united. There now 
began a social process that was to recur 
throughout history, the spread of privilege 
from a small elite down to the humbler classes. 
Once immortality had been limited to those 
of royal blood, now officials, priests, scribes, 
architects and physicians hoped to attain it and 
duly had portrait statues made for their tombs. 

Dynasty V came to an end in about 2340 
BC, at the time when Sargon the Great was 
winning his empire. With" Dynasty VI the great 
era of the Old Kingdom was cracking. 
Provincial governors or monarchs were taking 
wealth and power to themselves and were a 
growing threat to the crown. Yet pharaohs of 
this house, particularly the two Pepis (Phiops) 
did maintain central government and con- 
ducted foreign wars and trade. Pepi II was fated 
to have the longest reign in history, well over 
90 years. When at last he died the state was 
collapsing from internal strains. Egypt was then 
affected somewhat by the spreading upheavals 
which we shall find bringing old orders to an 
end throughout much of the ancient world. So 
the third millennium which had begun 
brilliantly with man's first experience of high 

1 1\ ilizaiinii (.m.ii.(.l with his lirst cxixricncc m 

Egyptian culture, already Kiily rccoj^nizablc 
under Menes, attained distinctive form in the 
Did Kingdom. Its art was marvellously 
naturalistic - to a degree not to he met again 
until the days ot classical Greece. While tht 
development of writing was ending the 
anonymity of prehistory through the 
rccordingof individual names, Egvptian portrait 
sculptures were making people visible in all 
their variety ot type and character This love of 
realism is shown also in the hieroglyphic 
writing which was perfected during this period 
and maintained for three thousand years. 

Side by side with what we should now call 
the fine arts, Egyptian craftsmen in the ser\'ice 
of the elite perfected many of the refinements 
of civilized life: fine linen, jewellery, cosmetics 
in exquisite vessels, elegant inlaid furniture. 

All these manufactures involved trade for 
raw materials. The timber trade through Byblos 
greatly increased; there were voyages down the 
Red Sea to Punt (probably Somalia) for incense, 
and trade with the Nubians south of the 
frontier for such luxuries as ivory and ebony. 
The Egyptians themselves worked copper and 
turquoise mines in Sinai. As to the principal 
technological advance of this millennium - 
metallurgy - the Egyptians having begun 
strongly with Early Dynastic copper working, 
now lagged far behind the Sumerians and 
others in the manufacture of bronze. 

These enterprises and the defence of the 
kingdom involved the pharaohs in foreign 
relations which followed a similar pattern 
for many centuries. They kept the "Libyans" 
of the western desert in check with skirmishes 
and occasional minor wars; they controlled 
the nomadic Bedouins in the east to protect 
their mining interests in Sinai; and to the 
south, while the frontier was held on the 
First Cataract, friendly trading expeditions 
were sent into Nubia and on occasion punitive 
ones against troublesome chiefs. 

Turning now to Mesopotamia we find the 
history of the first half of the third millennium 
full of gaps and uncertainties. Many individual 
names have come down to us but they are 
entangled with legend. Gilgamesh, for 
example, the hero of supernatural epic, was he 
or was he not a flesh and blood king who 
ruled Uruk at about the time Zoser was 
building his Step IVramid in Egypt- 
Archaeology may confirm that he was - as it 
has already confirmed the existence of several 
other semi-legendary figures 

One thing is sure: it was by now established 
that the pattern of life in Sumeria would be 

Thnacotta figure of 
Ciilgameih. the hero of 
Mipemmiuul epic, found at 
Khntuihad. Mcmpmamia. 

3000- 2000 BC 

This famous stele of Ndraiu 
Sin. g,nindsun of Sargan. 
celebrates his victory over 
a mountain people of the 
Zagros. Carved from sand 
sume It IS over 6 ft (2 m) 
high ai}d was found at Swia. 

based upon small city-states ruled by kings 
deputizing for the god or goddess who was 
the nominal head of state. In early days the 
temple estates with their lands, workers and 
tribute were of prime economic importance, 
but in time the royal power encroached on that 
of the temple, and palaces were built beside the 
temples to share in the domination of the 
crowded cities. 

Inevitably the rulers of these city-states 
fought fiercely against one another over water 
supply boundaries and other local disputes. 
More important, ambitious and militaristic 
individuals among them succeeded in estab- 
lishing themselves and their descendants as 
overlords controlling other states as national 
kings. Then they in their turn were defeated 
and another city and its dynasty seized the 
hegemony. Because of their political division, 
the Mesopotamians lacked the concentrated 
power of a great national state which was what 
enabled the pharaohs to create their mighty 
works. Yet in true urbanization, in technical 
advance, and above all, in far-flung foreign 
trade (much of it in the hands of private 
merchants), they remained in advance of the 

Historians allow the "Protoliterate" period 
to last through the first century or two of this 
millennium, placing the beginning of the Early 
Dynastic period at about 2800 BC or a little 

It is not possible to summarize the compli- 
cated and only partly known history of the 
cities and their rulers in the Early Dynastic 
age. The overlordship seems first to have been 
held by Kish, then to have been won by the very 
ancient city of Uruk and later by Ur, Lagash, 
Umma and others. Nippur, lying at the heart of 
the vast, flat Sumerian plain and sacred to 
the great god, Enlil, appears not to have 
sought supremacy but remained a holy city and 
centre of learning. 

Where do the rulers buried with such 
extravagance of life and treasure in the Royal 
Cemetery of Ur fit into the history of the 
Early Dynastic period? It is difficult to say, 
suice the names recorded in the tombs do not 
appear among those of the First Dynasty of 
Ur in the King List. It is probable, however, 
that they were earher, dating from the century 
after 2600 BC - the age of the Giza pyramids. 

During all this time the ancient Sumerian 
cities of the south had dominated the valley, 
although some of their kings, notably of Kish, 
had Semitic names. We have seen that there 
were Semites in the valley in prehistoric 
times. Now, during the early centuries of the 
third millennium, more of them entered the 


The elcclrwn helmet oi 
Prince MesKalamahar wj. 
loundat Urs Royal 
Cemetery Made from a 
single sheet of metal, it is 
decorated with relief and 
chased dcsijins. The holes 
were used to lace a quilted 

I Ic g.oat ojwsht in a thicket 
found in the gfeal death pit 
at the Royal Cemetery of 
Ur It is made of gold, silver 
lapis lazuh. shell and red 

3000- 2000 BC 

A wooden model left as a 
funerary offering in an 
Egyptian tomb shows a 
primitive plough being 
pulled by oxen. These 
models as well as the tomb 
wall paintings were 
intended to provide the 
dead man with his needs 
in the after life- 

valley from the western deserts, took to settled 
life in the cities, and pushed peacefully 
southward into ancient Sumeria. These 
Semites, who had adopted Sumerian culture 
and adapted cuneiform to the writing of their 
own language, are known as Akkadians. The 
mingling of the two peoples and their traditions 
produced a vigorous civilization, but it was not 
long before the Semites were to become the 
dominant partners. 

In C.2350 BC a warlike, usurping king of 
Umma, one Lugalzagesi, having defeated and 
sacked the city of his traditional rival the king 
of Lagash, went on to subdue other city-states 
until he could call himself "King of the Land of 
of Sumer". It proved, however, that the Ummite 
was only preparing the way for another 
conqueror greater than himself. This was 
Sargon the Great, the first ruler in Mesopotamia 
whose name is familiar in world history. 
Sargon was a self-made man of insatiable 
military ambition, and during a long reign won 
hegemony over the whole valley and then 
conquered northward to the Mediterranean, 

through Syria (including Lebanon's cedar 
forest). He also ruled Elam and campaigned and 
claimed authority southward along the 
Arabian Gulf. So he established the first great 
Empire known to history, and brought vast 
wealth and trade to his capital city of Akkad. 
Although troubled by revolts and pressure 
from a fresh influx of Semitic peoples, or 
Amorites (to use the bibhcal version of the 
name), the empire held for 150 years, and 
Sargon's grandson, Naram-Sin (c.2260 BC) 
even extended its frontiers. A famous stele 
celebrates his conquest of a mountain people 
of the Zagros. 

It was in fact another people from these 
mountains, the Gutians, who largely brought 
about the collapse of the Semitic empire and 
took control of northern Sumer The old 
Sumerian south, however, regained prosperity, 
winning back the Gulf trade from Akkad. This 
was the time of Gudea of Lagash, a peace- 
loving ruler, proud of his temple-building, 
whose strong, calm face is known from a 
number of statues. Then, as Lagash weakened. 

Ur returned lu );rtaincss under the rule ot a 
successful );eneral, UrNammu. The Third 
Dynasty ot Ur which he founded ahoui 21(X) 
BC came to rule the whole valley Rather on the 
lines ot Sarjjon, the dynasty imposed a 
centralized hureaucracy with governors 
appointed over city-states. The kin^s them- 
selves claimed a semi divine power, heing 
celebrated through hymns, shrines and 

The Third Dynasty maintamed internal 
peace and foreign trade, but towards the end 
of the millennium it suffered attacks from 
Hurrians of the northern mountains and the 
mounting power of the Amorites, who 
presently took control of the north. The final 
blow, however, was struck by a kingof Elam who 
marched into Sumeria and occupied Ur.The 
Lament for the city written for this sad fail 
speaks for the end of Sumcrian greatness. 
Although Ur and many of the old cities 
survived, the real power shifted irrevocably 
northward and into the hands of the Semites. 
Sumcrian seems soon to have died as a 
spoken language, though it long remained in 
use for learning and literature. 

The destruction of Ur, when its king and 
the image of its moon god were carried off to 
Susa "like a bird that has flown from its nest" 
was one climax of a thousand years of warfare 
between Elamites and Sumerians, and was 
sufficient proof that Elam was still prospering. 
So, too, were many of the upland towns and 
settlements, such asTepe Yahya in southern 
Iran, providing a hnk between Mesopotamia 
and India. Prosperity was increased by trade 
in precious substances such as lapis lazuli 
(mainly from Afghanistan), soapstone, 
camelian and tin. 

While such trade went by packass along 
the overland routes, there was also a growing 
trade along the Gulf, the merchants of Sumer 
and Akkad supplying woollens, hides and oil 
in exchange for copper from Makran (probably 
modem Oman) and luxury goods. In the second 
half of the millennium an important port of 
call grew up by the freshwater springs of 
Bahrein. Traders there had contacts with both 
Sumeria and the Indus valley. 

The origins of the Indus civilization are 
not yet understood, although it must have 
owed something both to the Iranian settle- 
ments and to influences from Mesopotamia. 
While already mature by 2500 BC, it was at its 
height at about the time of Sargon's empire 
and the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, but was already 
in decline early in the second millennium. 
Therefore, it was of much shorter duration than 
the other two great river valley civiUzations 


and Its culture was less widely influential. 
Yet it flourished over a larger area than the 
other two, tor while its chief cities lay on the 
flood plain ot the valley, it also extended along 
the coasts on either side of the delta. 

The Indus script is preserved mainly on 
seals that were probably used as marks of 
ownership, and on a few copper tablets and 
potsherds Unhappily even these brief 
inscriptions have not been deciphered, so that , 
we are once again in a nameless, wordless 

Over all the vast territory of the Indus 
civilization there was so striking a uniformity 
in products, buildings and way of life generally 
that it is thought to have been a unified state 
tightly controlled from the twin capitals of 
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. These cities, and 
other lesser ones such as Kalibangan and the 
port of Lothal (with its fine dock at the 
head of the Gulf of Cambay), were laid out 
on a regular grid very unlike the unplanned 
streets and alleys of Sumcrian cities. An 
efficient system of drains ran under the 
streets between the blocks of houses and there 
was a generous provision of wells. In contrast 
with the sun-dried mudbrick that was the ail 
but universal building material in Sumeria, 
Indus architectiu-e was characteristically in 
fired brick. 

The cities were centred on strongly 
fortified citadels which were raised on massive 
platforms built against flooding. In or near 
these were workers' hutments, large granaries, 
and flour mills - evidently centralized 
municipal food depots. Here great quantities 
of grain must have been brought in by bullock 
wagon from the surrounding countryside to feed 
the citizens. Together with the imposed 
town planning these arrangements suggest a 
strong socialized administration. (To some 
the whole Indus civilization suggests a Bronze 
Age totalitarianism.) 

At Mohenjo-Daro a grandiose stepped bath 
and surrounding buildings are likely to have 
served a ritualistic purpose, but no true temple 
buildings have been found to compare with 
those of Sumeria and Egypt. Religion is 
chiefly represented to us by female figurines 
probably representing a Mother Goddess and 
by a three-headed horned god probably 
ancestral to the Hindu Siva. There is evidence 
for bull and tree cults and a veneration of such 
wild animals as the rhinoceros and elephant. 
Fire altars were used at Kalibangan. 

Just as in the other river valley civili- 
zations, the Indus economy was based on 
wheat and barley cultivated by irrigation. Rice 
was grown on the west coast, cotton was an 

3000- 2000 BC 

A calm nobility is evident 
m thin monumental stone 
statue of the Pharaoh 
Khafra. The falcon god 
Horus stands in a protective 
pose behind the king and 
underneath the throne arc 
the heraldic plants 
symbolizing the union of 
I Jppcr and Lower Egypt. 

Zoser, second pharaoh of 
Dynasty 111. This early life- 
sized limestone statue was 
found in a chapel adjoining 
the Step Pyramid at Sakkara. 

important cash crop. Cattle included both the 
Humped Brahmani variety and others; buffalo 
and pigs were also reared. 

The metallurgy of the Indus people was 
conservative to the point of backwardness and 
remarkably standardized. In trade, however, 
they were more enterprising. We have already 
seen that their merchants traded by land and 
sea with Sumeria and the lands between. They 
seem to have set up trading colonies in Bahrein 
and in Ur and other cities of Sumcr and Akkad. 
This foreign trade was at its height during the 
time of Sargon and the Third Dynasty of Ur. 

The visual arts appear to have been of far 
less importance in the lives of the Indus people 
than they were for the Sumerians and Egyptians. 
This may have been largely because it seems 
that highly organized religious institutions 
centred on theocratic rulers were lacking, and 
hence the patronage of the arts that went with 

The third millennium did not see any very 
striking developments in China or Japan. 
Neolithic village communities with simple 
agriculture and herding were still the most 
advanced fonns of society, while over much 
of the territory men continued to live by 
hunting and fishing. 

One technical advance certainly took place, 
the adoption of the potter's wheel among 
Neolithic peasant communities living to the 
east of the Yang Shao homeland, from Honan 
to the coast. They used it to produce formal 
and often elegant vessels in a glossy black 
ware. These people differed also from their 
western neighbours in enclosing their villages 
with walls of rammed earth. 

In Japan the middle phase of the long- 
lived Jomon culture is thought to coincide 
with the third millennium. The coast-dwellers 
still depended largely on mussels, oysters 
and other shellfish for their basic diet, while 
the mountain-dwellers hunted and gathered 
berries, nuts and roots. The cultivation of 
millet and vegetables was beginning. Potters 
were producing ever larger and more ornate 
vessels and these were sometimes used for the 
hearths. There may well have been an increase 
in population, villages of at least sixty huts 
are known. 

In southern Siberia the last centuries of 
the millennium were distinguished by the 
appearance of a copper using culture known 
as the Af anasyevskaya. Not very much can be 
said of the life of its creators as they are knov^m 
chiefly from their tombs, many in the steppes 
of the Minusinak basin and a lesser number in 
the Altai Territory. They seem to have been 
hunter-herders with cattle, sheep and horses. 

•!)nn yvionc 


Scnch the Ihvtiri iChicf 
Steward of the Royal 
Clmhinn) <""' hix family, 
iwintcd /inicsione. 
I>vnaxty VI. Ciza. Esypt 

I'haraoh Menkaure and his 
iiueen are shown m an 
affecuonate pose in this 
dark slate unlirushed pair 
sculpture Irom G\za. Egypt 


3000- 2000 BC 



A marble Cycladic "Venus" 
These fisuies were 
extremely stylized with 
elongated heads, crossed 
arms and parallel legs. 

While Still depending on stone for their prin- 
cipal tools they used copper for needles, awls 
and knives and, more plentifully, together with 
gold and silver, for ornaments. Most effort 
was lavished on burials, where family groups 
seem to have been interred together in large 
rectangular pits, along with food, drink and 
possessions. These graves were enclosed by a 
circular stone wall and covered with a mound. 
The Afanasyevskaya people had probably 
spread from the west, for they were of European 
(Caucasoid) stock. Later the area was to be 
taken over by Mongolian peoples. 

The eastern Mediterranean, and particu- 
larly the Levant, was inevitably strongly affected 
by the two great civihzations to the north and 
south. The headwaters of the Tigris-Euphrates 
led up into eastern Anatolia where copper and 
silver were to be had, and from the western 
bulge of the Euphrates trade routes were open 
to Cilicia, Syria and Lebanon. Sumerian rulers 
as well as Egyptian wanted Lebanese timber 
for their temple-building: Gudea of Lagash 
records how he "made a path to the Cedar 
Mountain . . . cut its cedars with great axes" 
and floated them down the Euphrates. 

Town life and the use of bronze which 
had begun just before 3000 BC now made rapid 
progress. Wiilled towns were found throughout 
the region and were probably the seats of royal 
chiefly rulers. The Levant, vnth. Palestine 
lagging somewhat behind Syria and Lebanon, 
was aheady falling into the pattern of the small 
city-states which were to be fought over by 
the great powers of Egypt and Mesopotamia 
in the next millennium. There were also 
kingdoms, perhaps richer but more barbarous, 
in many parts of Anatolia. The royal graves 
of Alaca Hiiyiik were furnished with superb 
weapons, cult objects, vessels and personal 
ornaments in bronze, silver and gold. The 
first settlement at Troy was followed by 
Troy II, rebuilt with stout walls and a large 
royal hall. It was here that the Schliemanns 
found the famous gold treasure which they 
named after Priam, though in fact it was buried 
some 1500 years before the Trojan war 

Western Anatolia contributed to the great 
prosperity of the Aegean world. This was 
founded on maritime trade, although wealth 
and well-being might have been enhanced by 
the cultivation of olives and vines at this time. 
Substantial towns grew up on Lemnos and 
Lesbos. The Cycladic Islands, however, were 
hardly large enough to support tovras and most 
people lived in villages near the coast. The 
daring of their sailors and notorious pirates 
carried them throughout the Aegean and far 
beyond - even as far as the Balearics. Crete, 

now in the Early Minoan period, ended the 
Cycladic ascendancy after 2500 BC. Her 
foreign trade was growing fast, much of it 
conducted from ports at the eastern end of 
the island. Some large mansions and small 
open towns were built. Bronze working and 
small-scale urbanization (best represented by 
the walled town of Lema) reached mainland 
Greece a little later than the islands. Towards 
the end of the period, however, there was rapid 
progress. Metallurgy became general and the 
well-to-do could afford gold and silver vessels. 

In spite of trade, royal riches and contacts 
with "the great powers", the lands of the 
eastern Mediterranean did not achieve high 
civilization at this time. It is symptomatic that 
writing was not adopted here before 2000 BC. 
The physical structure of the territory, the 
peoples and their cultural traditions, were too 
various and broken for civil administration 
and government to develop on a large scale. 
Nor could the agricultural foundations rival 
the productivity of the extensive, ever-fertile 
irrigated field systems of the great valleys. 

During the last centuries of the millen- 
nium the region was disturbed, in some areas 
catastrophically, by folk movements such as 
we have seen causing upheavals simultane- 
ously in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In Greece 
and Anatolia the immigrants were probably 
Indo-Europeans, the heralds of the great 
expansion of these peoples which was to 
change history. In the Levant the invaders were 
Semitic peoples, by origin desert nomads. 
They included Amorites (the same people who 
destroyed the Third Dynasty of Ur) and the 
first Canaanites. Other groups infiltrated 
Egypt and added to the confusion of the 
internal breakdown of the Old Kingdom. 

In the western Mediterranean the 
Chalcolithic Age lasted much longer than 
in the east. In Italy bronze working came in 
from about 2500 BC, but Spain and Portugal 
remained dependent on stone and copper 
throughout the period. 

The peoples of the western Mediterra- 
nean also continued to devote their most 
concentrated labours on tombs for the 
communal burial of their dead and other 
religious building. In Spain and Portugal 
impressive megalithic tombs were still being 
built or used during at least the first half of 
the millennium. At Los Millares, in the 
southeastern comer of Spain, there grew up 
a large settlement enclosed within strong, 
turreted walls. Outside was a cemetery of 
some 80 carefully built megalithic passage- 
graves. This must have been the stronghold 
of an exceptionally important chiefdom. In 


.cotta female Ugunne 
'. \otheT Goddess" from 
u njo-Daro, India. 

some plates, notably in Italy, Sardinia, 
M)uthcm Spam and Portugal, communal 
Inirial chambers were cut into the rock 

By brthe most spectacular oJ all these 
local creations, however, took place in Malta 
From modest beKinmnRs in the previous period, 
the inhabitants ot this small island went on 
to build imposing temples and temple-tombs 
ilivpoRea) in a style entirely their own. 
rhey employed very lary-e blocks which were 
not, as in what is usually meant by megalithic 
architecture, left rough, but caretully shaixd 
and richly embellished with spirals and other 
sacred motits The colossal sculpture oJ a 
standing woman at the temple of Tarxien, 
together with numbers of smaller seated and 
lying figures of a very ample female, prove 
beyond reasonable doubt that these temples 
were devoted to the ancient Mediterranean 
worship of the Mother Goddess. The earliest 
of these temples were probably built a few 
centuries before the time of Zoser Remarkable 
though they arc, it must be emphasized that 
they are tiny and primitive when set beside 
Imhotep's glorious creation. 

In central, western and northern Europe 
the life of the farming communities continued 
in many regions without very striking change 
for much of the third millennium. The various 
peoples, mostly village dwellers, continued to 
grow their wheat and barley, herd their cattle 
and sheep. Although copper working was 
spreading from the Balkans and eastern Europe, 
the west remained in a stone using, late 
Neolithic, stage of development. Throughout 
the regions where megalithic tombs had been 
built in the last millennium new ones 
continued to be built and old ones used. 

In Britain the Late Stone Age saw a very 
distinctive form of religious sanctuary, the 
earliest dating from the very beginning of the 
period, if not before. These were the "henges" 
in which a sacred area, sometimes set with 
circles of wood or standing stones, was enclosed 
within a more or less substantial earthen bank. 
Avebury in Wiltshire is a famous example. 
At Stonehcnge itself the little bank and ditch 
that few people notice as they cross to reach 
the stones was probably cut before 2500 BC, but 
as the sanctuary was not brought to its most 
splendid height until at least five centuries 
later, it will find its place in our next period. 

Towards the end of the third millennium, 
folk movements affecting the greater part of 
Europe made profound changes in social and 
cultural life. If they had come within historical 
times the names and doings of the people con- 
cerned would have been household words. As 
it is, we can only use such lame archaeological 

terms as Beaker folk, Battle Axe people and 
so torth Among the fighting groups that were 
migrating throughout the continent, the Beaker 
tolk were the most widespread and easily 
identified (from their distinctive pots) 
Some think that they originated in IlKria 
as people from the backward interior of 
this area seem to have destroyed Los 
Millares and other ailvanced centres; others 
would put their cradleland in central Europe 
Certainly wherever they and the other 
related tribesmen went they introduced the 
bunal of individuals under round mounds. 
Although megalithic tombs might sometimes 
still be used, they were no longer built and the 
communal form of burial was at an end. These 
newcomers probably often impt)sed them- 
selves as an anstocracy, not mingling with the 
natives for several generations They did 
much to introduce copper and elementary 
bronze working to western and northern 

The Americas in this penod witnessed a 
gentle advance towards better agriculture 
and larger and more settled village communi- 
ties These advances were still concentrated in 
the old progressive centres of Mexico, South 
America and the southwest of the United 
States; elsewhere tribal life remained based 
on hunting, food gathering and fishing. 

In Mesoamerica this millennium repre- 
sents the last phase before the step forward of 
the I're -classic age. A moister climate and 
the successful hybridization of maize after 
2500 BC brought about a vastly increased 
yield. Together com and vegetables now 
became important parts of the diet instead 
of insignificant additions to wild food 
supplies. The cultivators, however, were still 
without pottery. 

In the fertile valleys of coastal Peru such 
as those of Chicama and Vini, the people grew 
beans, squash and gourds as well as collecting 
wild plants. After 2500 BC they seem to have 
done less hunung in the mountains but greatly 
increased their fishing. Their houses appear 
to have been flimsy huts, but the crowded 
villages might have had as many as a thousand 
inhabitants. They twined and wove fabrics 
from native cotton. 

There was still no pottery in Peru at this 
time, although we had seen it beginning in 
Ecuador at the end of the last millennium. 
Excellent ceramics were developed there now 
as well as modelled figunnes. In about 3000 
BC pottery appeared in Colombia, and there, 
as in Ecuador, was used for both vessels and 
grotesque figures (notably the human and 
animal-headed bowls). 

3000- 2000 BC 

Technology 3000-2000 BC 

Mesopotamia and Egypt, which had taken a 
few steps forward before 3000 BC, began 
making spectacular progress soon after that 
date. Most significant was their increasing 
abihty to work with bronze. The manafacture 
of bronze itself resulted from a process of 
deliberate research - an unprecedented activity 
involving experimentation with a variety of 
alloys. Early artifacts of the period show that 
experimentation stopped once the blend 
of 10% tin to 90% copper was discovered. 

There was one drawback to the use of 
bronze: copper is hard to find in its natural 
state, and tin even more so. Yet the 
Mesopotamians and Egyptians persevered, and 
their search for copper and tin to supply the 
increasing demand spread the news of the 
recently discovered alloy. The usefulness of 
bronze as a workable metal led to the creation 
of better tools with which to work it. Better 
tools led to better carpentry, and so to better 
boats and vehicles. The social results of metal 
as wealth were also enormous. 

Communications improved rapidly as 
wheeled traffic increased throughout the 
world. By 2000 the wheel had reached eastward 
to the Indus Valley, northward into the Steppes, 
and westward to the North Sea - perhaps even 
beyond. Water traffic too was increasing. 
Although we know that there were boats that 
plied the Atlantic, we know little about them. 
But in two areas, the Mediterranean and the 
Persian Gulf, there were certainly substantial 
seagoing ships, which carried on trade between 
Egypt and the Levant or sometimes Cyprus and 
Crete, and on the Persian Gulf between 
Sumer, Bahrein and the Indus Valley 

By the time the spark of the new culture 
kindled in the Indus Valley, sometime around 
2500 BC, it was akeady sinking to a warm glow 
in the Near East. In many fields, such as 
writing, architecture, and metallurgy, the 
peoples of Egypt and Mesopotamia did not 
appear to make many new advances. The tech- 
niques devised by their ancestors apparently 
worked well enough to satisfy their needs, and 
so there were fewer and fewer improvements. 

In northern Europe, people.continued to 
grind and flake stone but they did develop some 
skill at making stone copies of metal weapons 
and in minmg flint. In the Far East and the 
Americas, the benefits of community life were 
being experienced in farming settlements like 
those already established in southwest Asia. 
Pottery began to be widely used in Mexico, 
Colombia and Ecuador; the Peruvians were 
becoming adept at weaving in cotton. 



I I \ m 

I ill I M 

I m I I 

I |- I I 


Eastern Mediterranean 

Western Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 

The Americas 

Hunting and food gathering 
equipment was stiU dominant, 
although agriculture was 
playing an increasmgly 
important part in Mexico and 
Peru. Coiled basketry was 

Western Mediterranean 

Incised slate plaques or 
cosmetic palettes and very 
distinctive bell beaker pottery 
spread widely through the 
area. The grinder was necessary 
equipment for an agncukural 
society and the stone rollers 
made possible the 
of large-scale archil 

Stone Copper Bronze 

3000 -2000 BC 

Coniincnul Europe 
A hiRhly devcloix-J tlnu 
inmiiiK iiKlu>try which utih^c J 
picks and Umps prnvulc J r.iw 
mjicnals for implcnicnis ul 
thit tinic such j> the ground 
sionc iDols jiul lincly Hjkcd 
flmcwork Thi> latter often 
imitated the first copper iix)U 


Stone, hone and wood were 
still the main materials for 
tools and weapons Keapmx 
knives were widely employed 

in h.inT^ttnri;r;iin 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Metal technoloKy was highly 
developed in this area as 
evidenced hy the nch finds 
Irom the Anatolian royal 
lomhs and the treasures of 
Tri)v Improvements in the 
plough and boat contributed 
to the growinj; prosperity on 
the island ut Crete 

Sumt impltnttnl* 



WritmK, though undcciphcrcd, 
appeared on the Indus Valley 
seals Pottery utensils and toys 
and primitively worked copper 
tools are also representative of 
this short-lived civilization. 


Society prospered at home 
and abroad Irrigation agricul- 
ture and foreign trade brought 
leisure and the materials 
necessary for advances in 
many areas such as metal 
working. Hieroglyphic wTiting 
was hilly developed at this time. 

Based on an efficient 
agriculture and active trade, 
Sumenan civilization reached 
it. peak This is indicated by 
highly developed techniques 
for working such meuls as 
gold and copper as well as a full 
bronze metallurgy and t)ic 
standardization of the 
cuneiform script 

3000- 2000 BC 


Metal working in the form 
of bronze casting made 
great advances in spite of 
the fact that there were 
no local mineral supplies. 
Bronze melts at rather 
lower temperatures than 
copper and when melted 
flows more readily. The 
alloy could be cast m many 
speciaUzed shapes - in 
closed moulds or by the 
lost wax method here 
illustrated. Bronze also 
yields harder, sharper, and 
so more efficient tools. 
Mesopotamia played an 
important part in developing 
and disseminating these 
skills to others. The 
necessity of trading for the 
needed minerals was itself 
a factor in the rise of 
Sumerian civihzation. 


Civilization and technology 
advanced together in Egypt, 
up to the flowering of the 
Old Kingdom. This was due 
to two factors: the 
unification of the country 
under stable rulers 
produced the conditions 
and patronage necessary 
for craftspeople to give of 
their best, and the improve- 
ment in metal tools made 
many technological 
innovations possible. Even 
the simple agricultural basis 
of the economy probably 
already benefited from 
such technical devices as 
the shaduf which employed 
a counter-weighted lever to 
lift water to the crops. 
Improved metal tools such 
as chisels, mallets, adzes 
and unhafted axes aUowed 
the construction of more 
seaworthy boats for the 
Byblos run, to fetch the 
timber Egypt lacked but 
needed for such things as 
buildings and furniture. 
Hieroglyphs, which were 
first devised for 
communication and record- 
ing, were soon diverted to 
artistic and magical ends. 
This helps to explain why 
their functional improve- 
ment ceased at so early a 

Wall relief showing 
inscriptions of the names, 
titles and offering <iHts to 

The metal was poured 
replace the wax. 

" t\ t 

Eaitern Mediterranean 

Skilled mctjI.Miiiih.s III 
Anulolu worked in Inoii^c 
and Kold to produce iIk' 
ircasuro iit Alata Hiivuk 
andTruy It wasdoul'iK .s 
thcirorcD truni whu > 
Mesopotamia drcu - 
metal supplies, and 
technical advances in 
metalluTjcy must have been 
exchanged between the two 
areas. Smelting, 
hammeruiK, solderinK, 
epnu'ise reliet, sheathinx 
and inlay were some ol the 
known processes 

Gold iu:i.A lac J H ii vu fc . 

Western Mediterranean 

Com was still labonously 
ground by hand but, tor 
other tasks, simple physical 
aids like the wedge and 
lever must have been widely 
known. Spherical stone 
rollers found in Malta were 
used tor manoeuvnng 
building blocks Final 
adiustments were etfected 
with great levers, inserted 
in notches left in the blocks 
for that purpose 


Coniincnul Europe 

fliKhilualiiy flint was 
mined from the Jialk 

ground Antler picks were 
andto .'. • 


Crnitntl -itonr tnnls like the 

deposits jii.. rimes C.rjve» 
III Norfolk K.idi.itiiiK 
beds which were as much 
as 2.Mtl7m) below the 

axes li 

flint im .- ., 

ultimate purchaser 






Culd pendant from ' Trurn .< 

Finn funiL at L,rinicsi.,ra\c'~. i\,:niiin.tngjand 

Iran-India carved stone seals argue for 

The technology of the high craftsmanship and an 

Indus civilization was not advanced economic 

outsunding, its metal system. The model bulliK k 

working, for example, was cart provides evidence 

primitive But the brilliantlv for wheeled vehicles 

Stone reaping knife 

The Americas 
The techniquo ot basketry 
and weaving, although 
certainly employed else- 
where, were widespread in 
this area. The dry 
conditions in Mexico and 
Peru have ensured the 
survival of such material. 

Stone quern 

4 ^^ 

Caned seal stones. SVihi 


I'otten- model ot cart ^/f t -'/I V 1 W^ >V ■< 



3000 - 2000BC 

Architecture 3000-2000 BC 

The civilizations which flourished at this 
time produced architecture of a scale and 
complexity that the simpler societies of the 
earlier millennia were incapable of achieving. 
In Mesopotamia, the temples of the predynastic 
period developed into grandiose monuments 
which dominated not only the cities they were 
meant to serve, but the whole of the valley 
floor It has even been suggested that the 
ziggurats, the stepped mounds which sup- 
ported the sacred shrines, were intended 
simply as artificial mountains. Though their 
design showed high skill, technically they 
were of the simplest: a mudbrick core encased 
in a weatherproof skin of burnt brick set in 
bitumen. The shrines on their summits have 
not survived, but at least the plans of the great 
temples associated with them have been 
recovered, as have those of the palaces which 
joined them later in the millennium. Both 
show the steady advances of building skills 
in more extensive plans, higher brick walls 
and longer spans of roof timbers. However, 
technical expertise is most clearly shown in 
much less ostentatious structures, the tombs. 
In the Royal Cemetery at Ur the true arch and 
dome were already employed, although it was 
over 2000 years before their advantages came 
to be fully recognized and exploited. 

In Egypt, on the other hand, large-scale 
building was used for tombs rather than 
temples. The design, or more specifically the 
geometry, of the pyramids is astounding. 
Great organizational genius went into their 
construction. But the technical skills employed 
were crude compared with the arches of the 
Ur tombs. In the short period from the Step 
Pyramid of 2760 to the third Giza pyramid of 
2300, pyramid building progressed as far as it 
usefully could in the direction of sheer size. 

The Maltese temples, though of imposing 
size and sophistication, and the continuing 
megalithic tomb architecture of Iberia and 
western Europe also represent a kind of 
magnificent cul-de-sac. 

The Indus civilization is more difficult to 
evaluate since the recovered evidence is 
scanty. Their civic buildings appear to have 
been less ambitious but still highly competent. 
The walls of Harappa, the granaries and Great 
Bath of Mohenjo-Daro and the brick-hned 
dock at Lothal are all functional structures. 
This element of usefulness rather than beauty 
or grandeur strikes us most forcibly on Indus 
sites, with their austere architecture, 
advanced grid town planning and even 
efficient public drainage system. 

The Americas 

This area lagged architectur- 
ally and such humble dweUings 
as the cave, tent and hut were 
still widespread. 

TdTxien Temple, Malta 

Western Mediterranean 

The Maltese temples and 
Iberian tholos tombs represent 
the most advanced architecture 
in this area at this time. The 
distinction between temple 
and tomb is often slight, and 
both could be either cut into 
the solid rock or built of stone 
above ground. 



Western Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 

Reed, Stone Mud 


Continenul Europe 

nomoticdwcllinKs wcri- ■.mi 
pic, stjkc, huidlcwork .iiul 
thatch wire the usual con 
structum materials The use 
ot sreat blocks ot >ttii\c in the 
mcKilitliic tiimbs ot western 
Europe shows that more am- 
bitious architecture could be 
priuluceii when necessary 



Eastern Mediterranean 

Walled townships like Troy 
were maintained throuRhout 
area At Alaea Huyuk the 
tombs of the royal dead were 
storehouses of great wealth. 



Far tail 

Architecture was restricted to 
house types of simple timber 
frame construction with 
thatclicd roots, as in those 
of the Ii'imon period in lapan 
and YanK Shao in China 


The civic buildings of Harappa 
and Mohenio-Daro appear 
functional rather than 
aesthetic, competent rather 
than ambitious House plumb- 
ing facilities and community 
bathing places are part of an 
innovative sanitation system. 


The leaf and bud columns show 
that elegance came as 
ally to the Old Kingdom 
architects as did the planning 
of imposing masses of masonry, 
demonstrated most clearly by 
the development of the Great 
Pyramids of Giza from mastaba 
tombs and the Step Pyramid 


Monumental architecture is 
apparent in the region's 
ziggurats and temples The 
brick arched vault was used in 
a tomh in the Royal Cemetery 
at Ur, and the town house 
suggests a high domestic 
standard of living 

3000- 2000 BC 


The temples increased 
enormously in size and 
complexity, their principal 
feature now being the 
ziggurats - vast and solid 
mounds of mudbrick 
encased in a weather- 
proof skin of burnt brick 
set in bitumen. Holes were 
made in the casing to 
prevent it splitting in the 
rainy season. Though the 
shrines at their summits 
have not survived |a triple 
staircase led to the upper 
sanctuary at Ur), the 
mounds themselves, 
especially that at Ur, can be 
studied and shown to be 
well designed, both 
structurally and aestheti- 
cally The much more 
modest tombs, however, 
are the more innovative in 
their use of the arch. A few 
large temple complexes 
contained in oval enclosures 
such as the one at Khafaie, 
were also constructed 
A temple, altar, dwellings, 
workshops and stores were 
contained within three 
ascending terraces. 


Perhaps the most famous 
architectural monuments 
in the world, the pyramids 
were built of stone with a 
rubble core as enlarged and 
elaborated versions of the 
humble mudbrick mastaba. 
The masses of masonry 
were partly symbolic, partly 
protective, and seemingly 
disproportionate for the 
sepulchral chambers they 
covered. They were worthy 
memorials but hardly 
inviolate. A remarkable 
ability in surveying, 
immediately obvious from 
their sheer bulk and proved 
by the accuracy of layout 
and orientation was 
necessary for their construc- 
tion. The great pyramid of 
Cheops differed from the 
others m Its greater bulk 
and internal layout. It had 
three separate chambers 
while the Chephren 
pyramid had one chamber 
with two approaches. 
Mycerinus' tomb had one 
chamber and one entrance. 

EMlern Mcditcrranciin 

TVoy was j town Ions 
before the Arrive Crfck> 
appeared bvlon- it> walls 
llluMratcJ lure i^thc 
second uiy ul the ninc 
which succeeded each 

other on this stratcjyc sue 
This town of 25(») BC hod 
extended titv walls, several 
KJtewavs aiul .1 larxc 

meKariiii iniolspanlOh 
|y 2 m| which may have 
been a council chamber 


^ "^y . if.// 

Contincnul Europe 

The immense mcKalilhit 
chambci tombs required 
(treat ennununitv ellon lor 
stone weiKhiiiK up III IK) 
toift into piisitiiin Some 111 
these ehamhers contained 
kerbstones decorated with 
abstract designs The West 
Kcnnet tomb was built ol 
large boulders and had 
drystone walls It was 
covered by a 350 h | U)6 m 
lonft mound 

Wwt Kenriet \on% burrow. 

U i/iA/iire. tii.^LnJ 


Western Mediterranean 

Tarxien is the largest of the 
Maltese temple complexes 
which are among the 
earUest monumental 
architecture m the world. 
Certain ot the limestone 
blocks used to construct 
the temples were decorated 
with relief designs such as 
the running spiral or all 
over pockmarking. Further 
west, in Iberia, the circular 
earth-covered tholos tomb 
of Los Millares consisted ot 

an entrance passage 
separated into segments by 
port-holed septal slabs and a 
circular chamber lined with 
orthostats, topped by a 
corbelled root. Some 
tombs had a low central 

These tombs had well- 
constructed revetment 
walls and cult pillars whK li 
stood outside in the ritu.i' 
enclosures. Sometimes 
coloured plaster was ton : 
on their inside walls. 


The Indus civilization 
made much greater use of 
baked brick which was 
utilized for private houses 

as well as for community 
structures such as a granary 
and the Great Bath; the 
latter was probably 
intended for ritual washing. 


The Americas 

For the New World, it is 
hardly vet possible to speak 
of architecture which was 
still ot the very simplest at 
this period The survival 
into more recent times of 
huts of lashed rods 
probably gives a fair idea of 
techniques available 


I'aniaUy constructed 
Chi/cd house. Peru 

3000- 2000 BC 

Alt 3000 -2000 BC 

The Sumerians of the southern cities created 
the art forms of the civihzation that was to 
outlast them. Royal stelae such as that of 
Naram-Sin (p. 90) are striking if always rather 
stiff. Treasures from the famous royal tombs of 
Ur dating from c.2600-2500 BC (and therefore 
contemporary with some of the finest Old 
Kingdom art of Egypt) give us an idea of the 
splendour of royal possessions - carved and 
inlaid harps and lyres, miniature masterpieces 
such as the gold and lapis goat and beautiful 
gold vessels and personal ornaments. Perhaps 
the finest art, however, was produced by the 
more Semitic people of the north, who 
absorbed Sumerian culture but made it freer 
and more vital. The best sculpture of this 
school comes from the temple of Ishtar at 
Mari. The bronze head, thought to portray 
Sargon of Alckad (p. 90) is another noble work. 
Votive figures placed in temples by wor- 
shippers sometimes show a cruder, more 
provincial style. 

Most people would agree that in the visual 
arts the Egyptians, especially in this period, 
surpassed the Sumerians. The best portrait 
sculpture of the pyramid age has confident 
strength combined v«th a gift for showing 
individual character The Egyptians were also 
masters of scenes carved in low relief and 
painted. From the Old Kingdom onwards these 
show everyday life in court and country estate 
vkdth naturalism and sometimes a fine 
sensibiUty. Middle Kingdom art tended to be 
more austere; its royal portraits have lost the 
confidence of the Old Kingdom and show signs 
of inner conflict. It was in this period that it 
became the custom to supply the dead v«th 
carved wooden groups of soldiers, farmers 
and artisans of all kinds, shown with a lively 
charm. The Egyptian love of nature and 
realism appears also in their hieroglyphs, works 
of art in their own right. 

The other region where art flowered was 
round the Aegean and outstandingly in the 
Cyclades and Crete. It was the art of cultivators 
and merchant sea-farers, all on a small scale, 
without royal grandeur Nevertheless, many of 
the statuettes, mostly carved in white marble, 
show a sophisticated stylization that greatly 
appeals to modem eyes. The art that was 
associated with the unique Maltese temple 
architecture consists principally of stone-carved 
figures of the goddess, standmg, sitting and 
reclining, nearly always immensely fat. The 
temple of Tarxien was decorated with well 
designed reliefs, mostly of spiral motifs. 

a Mother goddesses. ( f] 

n hmvi 

The Americas 

The earliest known American 
potters of Ecuador now made 
curious little female figurines 
with huge headdresses. Potting 
began m Colombia with 
grotesque human and animal 
heads modelled on the nms of 
vessels and footed bowls 

Western Mediterranean 

The outstanding work of this 
period is found in the small 
island of Malta. It consisted 
mainly of sculptures of the 
goddess, |one very large | and 
decorative rehefs in the 
temples. The passage graves of 
Spain and Ponugal yielded 
many plaques engraved vdth 
religious symbols. Abstract 
human figures were carved in 
the island of Sardinia. 


Conitncnul Europe 

tVttcn' was used tor Mmplc 
pots in Scanduu via aiul 
Bntiin while more cLibor jti 
lorms were produce J iii tin; 
Btilkans Animiil cjrvmgs jiul 
tcmale fi^nno continued 
to be nude ' 

Eastern Mediterranean 
In Anatulij nchlv tiiniiiihed 
tombs ol chicttjins jt Aljca 
Huyuk contained bron;c 
fi^nnes of sugs jnd bulls 
oncesctonsundjrdh No 
doubt they represent many 

reworksof jrto(a 
comparable kind Thcarusts 
otthe Aegean, parucularlyof 
the Cydades and Crete, now 
carved their (inest sutucnes 
(otten m white marble! as well 
as producing elaborate pottery 

Far East 

When farmers first spread into 
northeast China they 
developed the Lung Shan 
culture, distinguished by 
remarkable pottery shapes, 
usually in a tine black ware In 
lapan the fOmon pottery was 
by now highly umatc in its 
plastic decoraltnn, and equally 
fanusiic hgurines were 


The sculptors of the Old 
Kingdom, mostly working 
from Memphis, made monu- 
menul royal statues, Ufelike 
and very human portrait 
figures, dehcate, deuiied 
scenes in low relief Durmg 
the revolution art was debased 
but with the Middle Kingdom 
It revived. There were now 
new centres at Thebes and 
other places in Upper Egypt 
lewellery and personal effects 
were of exquisite design 


Grave goods from the royal 
cemetery of Ur reveal the 
sumptuous decorative art 
lavished on the possessions ot 
the chte in gold and semi- 
precious stones Royal stelae 
with figures in relief come 
from the southern cities, some 
of the best sculpture from the 
north |Mari|. 


A tew sutuettes of high quality 
and small heads in stone or 
bronze, elaborately uncouth 
figunnes, some excellent clay 
models of bulls and very fine 
seal stones depicting animals 
and diviniues represent the 
Indus fine arts Tainted pottery, 
usually in black on bnght red, 
IS inspired It someumes shows 
animal, bird and plant moufs 


3000 -2000 BC 


The harps from the royal 
cemetery had sounding 
boxes inlaid with mosaic 
patterns and mythological 
subjects and bore buU and 
calf heads of wood, 
overlaid with gold and 
inlaid with lapis. Two styles 
of Early Dynastic art in the 
north are well represented 
by the vigorous, yet highly 
civilized singer, Uranshe, 
and the strangely staring 
votive figure from the 
Abu temple at Tell Asmar. 







The limestone statue (early 
Dynasty V| of a seated 
scribe well shows the 
mdmduality and 
naturahsm of Old Kingdom 
sculpture in spite of his 
formal posture. King Pepi 
II, on his mother's knee, but 
shown as a miniature adult 
pharaoh, illustrates the 
slight decadence that set in 
towards the end of Old 
Kingdom times. The scene 
from Ti's tomb, in which a 
cowherd cames a calf 
across a ford, is fuU of 
sensitive detail. 

Statue of a female. Tell Asmar 
Statuette of Uranshe the smger. Man 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The typical Cycladic 
statuettes are beautiful but 
highly abstract. A few 
works of art come nearer to 
reaUsm. A masterpiece 
among these is the seated 
figure of a harpist from 
Keros. It is m pure white 
marble. A companion piece 
from Keros portrays a 
double-flute player Both 
have the curiously 
flattened back-tilted heads 
in vogue after about 
2800 BC. 

Marble figure of man with 
harp, Keros, Cyclades 

WMiera Mediterranean 

The cUv model tixurc ot tlu 

'' <" 

goddess rcclininK on J 

couch liihcmoM unusual 





hgunnct She IS hart 


topped, but J trinKtd skin 


drapc» her mountjinou< 


dllghs InPortugjlcnKUVL. 


schist plaques were placed 

in later megahihic tumhs 

Though reduced to 


geometry, they represent 

(cmale figure;, and are 

related to the eved goildess 


I Inaliidia 

Tliet%s..K., jn 

Brvnu iUtuetuol danai 
gfil MohentoOaro. Indui 

cping Lady". Hal Safbeni. Malta 

Concinenul Europe 

Ponery- ot the Beaker 
culture IS characterized by 
hne impressed decoration 
ohen made with the nms of 
shells or vnth a cord 
wrapped spirally round the 
vase Most pottery was 
made of a finegnt- 
cempered clay and coated 
with a burnished slip The 
corpulent rcrtility goddess 
with Its ample breasts and 
thighs was carved in a 
rough t jshion nut of chalk 


The fine Lung Shan pottery 
of the late New Stone Age 
of Chma is represented by 
distinct tnpod shaped 
vessels which imitate 
meulwork Figurines of 
the middle phase of the 
Jomon culture of Japan 
already show some fantasy 

npod lug. Wei-Fang. China 

Earthenware figunriL 
Middle l6mon pennd. /jpj 

The Ameiicas 
The grotesque animal figure 
modelled on the run of a 
large bowl dates from about 
3000 BC An example with 
a human face from the 
same shell mound has been 
called "one of the oldest 
representations in 
aboriginal Amencan aif . 

Clay hgunne. Puerto 
Honniga. Colom bia 

3000- 2000 BC Summary Chart 




Events and developments 


other Sumerian cities. 
Marl and Assur in 
the North. 

Establishment of city-states and 
dynasties Empire of Sargon of Akkad 

Gilgamesh 2700? 
Sargon of Akkad 
Gudeaof Lagash 
Ur-Nammu of Ur 







Thebes after 2040 

Dynasty 1-111 followed by Old Kingdom Imhotep 

2700-2180. Social revolution and Cheops 

foreign infiltration. Middle Kingdom Pepi 1 and 1 1 

2040. Menthuhotep 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Jericho, Megiddo, 
Byblos, Ugarit, Alaca 
Hiiyiik, Beycesultan, 
Troy, Cyclades, 

Growth of towns and small states in 
Palestine and Syria. Maritime trade, 
including the Aegean. Amorites invade 
Levant c.2200. Troy II f aUs c.2200. 
Indo-Europeans in AnatoUa. 

Western Mediterranean 

Los Millares 
San Pedro de 

Large and small villages, some fortified. 
Copper trade brings East Mediterranean 
influence to Iberia. Upset of settlements 
before 2000. 

New Grange 

Further spread of farming throughout 
area. Further development of megahthic 
tombs and their spread to Scandinavia. 




Fully developed Indus ci\Tlization vifith 
cities and ports, from c.2500. 

(Script not 

Later Yang Shao 
Lung Shan 

Farming spreads into E. and N.E. China. 
Hunting, fishmg and food gathering. 


Tehuacan Valley 



Hunting and food gathering over most 
of continent. Settled farming beginning 
in Mexico and Peru. Earhest maize 
in Mexico. 


The economy bar graph mdicates 

relative proportions of these factors. Irrigation 

S; Agricultiu-eV Hunting IN Urban life cH Trade 4^ 

yXlO - 2(XX)BC ! 


Surocnan pantheon 
hi Uv developed, 
numerous Ijvish 
temples jnd zijucurji 
mounds dedicated 
to each city's pjtron 

National pantheon 
tullv developed 
Divinuv ot pharaoh 
declines as sun^od 
Re's ptiwcr (trows 
Nobility also began 
to claim immortality 
through hurijl ritiv. 

Range otlocaKu Its 
including tcmhtv 
and mother goddc>> 

Communal buna! 
suggests at least 
respect for ancestors, 
but practice declined 
atcndof penod 

Technology and inventions 

Copper and gold wotkui,; tuIluHcJ 
c.2600by full bronze iiutjIlurKv with 
lost wax casungCuiuilorm script 
War chariots 

Maltese temples 
animal sacrifice 
divination, hhation 
Mother Goddess vMth 
prominent fertility and 
chthonic aspects 
Communal burial 

Copper and gold Working Ma.sonry 
buUding from c 2700 Seagoing shipt. 
Hieroglyphic script Calendar 

Copper, gold and silver working lcad» 
to Early Bronze Age Sea-going ships. 
Occasional use of iron in Anatolia. 

Predominantly stone using but copper 
implements on increase especially in 

Stone using. Perfection of polishing 
stone and fUnt. Flint mining. 


Aggurau and templet, palm columns 
with cone and shell mutaics Later 
palaces, walled ciues Royal ccmctcr\ 

.Mjm jhj tombs Step INumul Jiul 
temples c 2"(XJ Pyramids from iWXl 
Sphinx Fluted stone columns.\ei 
stone palm columns, squat obelisks 

Walled towns. Shnnes. Great halls 
or mcgara in Troy and Greece 

.Maltese temples and hypogea. 
Walled bastioncd forts 
Megabthic and rockcut tombs 

Megabthic dolmens, passage graves 
and gallery graves. Lake villages 
and substantial village houses in 
wood or stone. 

AllMld literature 

Figure sculpture in stone and bronze 
Bas rehcfs, inlays in shell, tapis and 
other suhsuntcs Cylinder seals. 

Portrait sculpture in stone and 
Mural painting and painted reliefi. 
Pyramid texts 

Human and animal figunnet in mctala, 
stone and terracotu, especially 
Cydadic idols. Fine stone vessels 
Creun carved seals 


Figurines espeually of mother goddesa. 
Spiral and other large reliefs m 

M.iltiMi.mnlis Fncr.ivi-d plaquea, -^ 

Abstraa and geometric engraving 
on mcgalithic tombs in Ireland, 
Bnnany and Spain. 


Many female figunnes Copper and bronze metallurgy (poor) 

and probable cult 
scenes on seals, 
especially involving 
bulls Ritual Great 
Daro, fire altars at 


with continued use of stone; 
two-wheeled ox-carts. 

Chipped or polished f Unt and stone. 
Potters tumublc in Chma c.2500. 

Temple with lustral bath City streets 
and houses on grid-iron plan. 
Venalatcd granaries. Harbour works 
.Most building in plain, fired brick 

Well-built hut villages. 

Small sculptures in stone and bronze. 
Figurines of animals and divinities i 
terracotta. Seal stones. Painted i 

Fine ceramics. Figurines. 

Pottery in Colombia and Ecuador In 
Mexico first pottery c.2300. Cotton 
growing and wcavmg in Peru and 

Settled village huts in Mexico after 
2S00. Beehive huu in coasul Peru 

Gnxesque ceramic modelling in 
Colombia from 3000 BC. Figurinea 
Ecuador from 2300. 


Zr::^^ly'; ^Sp^T-*-^ *^^- r" ^ ' ^^ -'^^^''i- '^ P' 


r^ -.* ^-- w } 

Detail of a limeston 
gathering, Tbmb of 
Thebes. Egypt 

le relief showing atundmts at a festiv 
Vizier Ramose. Dynasty XVJU. 

The Brun:c Arc world crucrcd the second millennium greatly changed 
hy the mcursion at harbarians and Semitic nomads in the hist centuries 
of the previous millennium These incursions were still to continue and 
the iurther expansion ot the Indo fcuropean peoples dunnji this period 
was ot the utmost importance (or the future it remains obscure, 
however, since it so lar>;elv hap|xned in lands beyond the reach of 
written records This millennium also saw the rise and fall of the 
Hittites and the Humans and the Assyrians' first spasmodic successes. 

One outstanding event was the first attainment of hi^h civilization 
in Europe - that of the Minoans in Crete Their palaces and administra- 
tive records kept on clay tablets show how much they owed to the 
orient, yet the whole style and spirit of Minoan life and arts was quite 
different from the pomp and circumstance of the ^reat river valleys. 

While in both Mesopotamia and Egypt the forms of civilization 
created during the previous three thousand years were maintained (in 
many ways even reaching the height of their power and international 
influence), this second millennium BC alerts us to the approaching 
birth of Western civilization. Side by side with the climax and decline 
of the Bronze Age came the first rise of Greeks and Hebrews. 

Equally pregnant of the future was the sudden emergence of the 
bronze using culture of the Shang Dynasty out of the long-hved New 
Stone Age of northern China, and the earliest hints of ceremonial 
centres and monumental sculpture among the Olmecs of Mexico. 

As might be expected for an age of great power nvah^, some of the 
most important technical advances of the second millennium were in 
instruments of war. The light battle chariot with its pair of spoked 
wheels provided a fast-moving mount from which the warriors could 
shoot arrows and hurl spears. Used for concerted charges, the chariotry 
revolutionized the conduct of pitched battles such as Megiddo and 
Lagash. With it went the smaller, more powerful composite bow, which 
intensified fire power. Another new weapon of even more lasting 
importance was the sword, probably invented in central Europe and 
widely adopted from the sixteenth century BC. 

The most significant technical invention of this present period was 
undoubtedly the production of carbonized iron. This difficult 
technique was first perfected by the Hittites about the middle of the 
millennium, but they guarded it as a vital military secret, and it was only 
after their fall in the late thirteenth century that their smiths seem to 
have been dispersed and the new, more plentiful metal was generally 
adopted in the Near East and eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt it was 
hardly in use before 1000 BC and it took several more centuries for 
blacksmithingto reach western Europe 

If iron was the most lastingly important of matenal inventions, 
alphabetic writing was more than its equal as an intellectual advance. 
It was probably with the seventeenth century BC that the Hittites 
adapted cuneiform to their Indo-European language, while the 
Minoans of the Old Palaces from the first used a pictographic script, 
developing the more efficient Linear A in time for it to be used through- 
out the island in New Palace times The early Greek of the Myccnaeans 
was written in Linear B both on the mainland and in Crete from the 
fifteenth century. At much the same time the Chinese Shang were 
employing a script ancestral to the histonc form. 

Like the Mesopotamian and Egyptian writing of the third 
millennium these scripts were no more than partially phonetic with 
sounds based on syllables and a vast range of qualifying signs. They 
were both immensely labonous and inefficient. To invent a system 
based on a sign for every sound required genius - and probably also 
courage against the vested interest of the scribes. For just as iron was 
to put good tools into the hands of the common man, so the alphabet put 

2000- 1000 BC 

The Phaistos Disc. Crete, has 
inscriptions stamped on its 
6 in (15 cm) clay surface. 

Faience "snake goddess" 
figurine from Crete dressed 
in the fashion of the 
Minoan court. 

Phoenician ivuiy plaque 
showing a goddess flanked 
by two goats, Ugarit, Syria. 

Late Minoan pitcher in the 
"Palace" style found at 
Knossos, Crete. 

writing within the reach of non-professionals. 

It seems that the invention was made by 
Semitic peoples in Palestine and Syria, that 
land where hieroglyphs and Mesopotamian 
cuneiform were both familiar It may have been 
made in the eighteenth - seventeenth centuries 
BC, and a number of forms are known by 1500 
BC. The eaihest example of a complete ABC 
tablet comes from the Ugarit of about 1400 BC. 
By 1100 BC an early Hebrew alphabetic script 
had been established and also, of infinite 
importance, the Phoenician form was being 
used at historic Byblos. This was to be carried 
throughout the Mediterranean after 1000 BC 
by the Phoenicians and, through the Greeks, 
give rise to all Western alphabetic writings. 

In the fine arts, learning, and science, this 
second millennium is so richly endowed that a 
summary can hardly be attempted and an 
appreciation must be left to pp 124-135. Only a 
few points can be brought out here. In 
Mesopotamia Sumerian is thought to have died 
out as a spoken language by about 2000 BC, but 
in the academies Sumerian works were both 
copied and composed even while the Akkadian 
literature of Old Babylonia was being created. 
Sumerian tales about Gilgamesh were certainly 
current much earlier, but the first actual texts 
belong to early in this present period, as also 
was the great Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh, 
surely the earliest profound imaginative work. 
It became so widely popular that later versions 
are known from the Hittite capital of Hattusas, 
from Ugarit and Megiddo. Its composition was 
approximately contemporary with the Middle 
Kingdom which also saw Egyptian literature at 
its height with such works as the Tale of the 
Eloquent Peasant and what has been called the 
first novella. The Story of Sinuhe. The Hittites 
had distinctive royal annals and a few myths 
and legends, but in general their literature was 
dominated by Babylonia. 

The Old Babylonian age also excelled in 
science and learning - mathematicians going 
far, though mainly in a practical spirit, with 
arithmetic, algebra and geometry. It is doubtful 
whether the Egyptians in the Houses of Life 
could rival them in any subject except 
medicine, where their preoccupation with em- 
balming corpses gave them special knowledge. 

In architecture and the arts, on the other 
hand, Egypt outclassed Babylonia. Nearly all 
the buildings, obelisks, monumental sculpture 
and exquisite tomb reliefs that tourists flock to 
see at Luxor and Karnak, Abydos and Abu 
Simbel were created by the pharaohs of the 
New Kingdom between the fifteenth and late 
thirteenth centuries, the Amama art making an 
astonishing break in the traditional sequence. 

In Crete the art of the Old Palaces consisted 
largely of splendid painted pottery and rela- 
tively naive figurines, but with the New Palaces 
after 1700 BC came the outburst of mural 
painting, faience, stone and ivory carving and 
more elegant ceramics that make the Minoan 
civihzation the most purely dehghtful of the 
Bronze Age World. 

The centuries immediately after 2000 BC 
saw several significant beginnings. There was 
the emergence of Assyria as a growing power 
under kings ruling from Assur-on-Tigris in 
northern Mesopotamia, soon to be temporarily 
suppressed by the rival power of Babylon. In 
this city near modem Baghdad a dynasty of 
invading Amorites estabhshed itself and in the 
eighteenth century produced Hammurabi, one 
of the truly great men of ancient history. 
While his Second Semitic Empire did not last 
long it had a tremendous impact; from that 
time old Sumer and Akkad became Babylonia. 

The prosperity of the Assyrians in the 
seventeenth century BC is proved by their 
merchant colonies in northern Anatolia, and it 
is here that (through the merchants' records) 
the Hittites first enter history. They were an 
Indo-European people who had come from the 
north and inter-married so freely with the 
native Hatti that it was their heavy, Armenoid 
features that became dominant - as can be seen 
in Hittite art. In about 1750 (contemporary with 
the death of Hammurabi) the Hittites founded 
a strong kingdom to be ruled from the fortified 
capital of Hattusas and extending into Syria. 

A few decades before 2000 BC 
Menthuhotep II re-united Egypt after the 
breakdown that had followed the death of 
Pepi II, and the Middle Kingdom that he estab- 
hshed (Dynasties XI-XII) has been called 
Egypt's Second Golden Age. A Theban prince 
himself, Menthuhotep shifted the capital there 
for a time and so began the rise of Thebes and 
its god Amun towards future grandeur In about 
1786, however, when Hammurabi was only at 
the start of his imperial conquests, the rule of 
the Pharaohs collapsed once more, the 
kingdom split up, and Semitic nomads, the 
Hyksos, took possession of Lower Egypt and 
ruled it from Avaris. 

Another collapse has to be chronicled for 
this time. It was with the eighteenth century 
BC that the Indus civilization went into decline, 
probably largely caused by serious flooding of 
its cities and a deterioration of the whole 
environment. The final blow may have been 
struck by invading Indo-European peoples. 

By 2000 the Levant was recovering from 
the Amorite invasions which had partly 


Wallpainun^ uf u bluebird 
among roses, libes and other 
flowers from Knossos, Crete 

Caned hnieiluiie 
sarcophagus mth painli 
religioiis scenes. Hagia 
Thada. Crete. 

2000- woo BC 

Hammurabi of Babylon, one 
of the truly great men of 
ancient history. 

Hammurabi's laws are 
inscribed on an 89 in. 
(223 cm.) high basalt stele 
foimd in Susa. The upper 
portion shows him receiving 
the symbols of justice from 
the Babylonian sun god. 

destroyed its urban life. While the Amorites 
remained in control of the hill country and 
eastwards of Jordan, in the lowlands their 
mingling with the native population gave rise 
to the Canaanite civilization with its city- 
states and prosperous trading centres such as 
Ugarit and Hazor (This was approximately 
the pattern of settlement the Israelites were 
to find when, much later, they were to wrest 
the southern part of the country from the 
Canaanites.) It may have been in the seven- 
teenth century that the Hurrians now under 
Indo-European leaders, moved into Syria and 
took control of its petty states. 

I believe I cannot be accused of lack of 
objectivity if I say that the happiest, most 
promising of all the beginnings of the twentieth 
century BC took place in Crete. This was the 
Middle A^noan or Old Palace period of 
archaeology. Without any sharp break from 
the more rustic traditions of the last millen- 
nium, royal families took command of the 
island, built palaces at Kjiossos, Phaistos, 
Mallia, and a little later, at Zakro, and made 
them not only centres of government and 
religious life but also of arts, crafts, industries 
and both local and international trade. 
Administrative accounts were kept on clay 
tablets - the first formalized writing in Europe. 
Kings and queens ruled in the name of the 
goddess, who remained the supreme deity. The 
Minoans created the civilized form of a wor- 
ship that we have seen at a barbarous stage at 
Catal Hiiyiik (p. 41) and in a more advanced 
but still unsophisticated form in the Malta of 
our last period. 

In about 1700 BC an earthquake destroyed 
the Old Palaces and their towns, but society 
was resilient and they were rebuilt, with their 
architecture and court life ncher and more 
elegant than before. This was the time when 
the famous faience "snake goddess" figurines 
were made. 

During these centuries mainland Greece 
remained relatively barbarous and isolated 
from the civilized world. This was probably 
largely due to the arrival from the north of 
Indo-European tribes. They reached the south, 
destroying Lema, by about 1900 BC. Abruptly 
in the sixteenth century BC there was an 
immense increase in wealth, culture and 
government in the small principalities - of 
which Mycenae was, and remained, the 
greatest. This is made visible in the renowned 
shaft graves of Mycenae, where men and 
women of the royal house were buried with an 
amazing treasure of golden masks, breast 
plates, ornaments, vessels and ornate bronze 
weapons. The bearded face-mask once 

attributed to Agamemnon, though it belonged 
to an anonymous prince living four hundred 
years before the Trojan War, nevertheless 
seems to express the idea of an Indo-European 
wamor hero. There were many objects of 
Minoan workmanship in these graves and 
during the following century the Mycenaeans, 
as all the mainland people can now be called 
(Homer's "Achaeans" is an alternative), 
adopted almost all their artistic and religious 
forms from the Cretans. 

One question of special interest is how 
Minoan Crete came to be subjected by their 
pupils in civihzation, the Mycenaeans. A 
stupendous volcanic eruption that largely 
blew up the island of Thera (Santorini), burying 
a Minoan town on Thera itself, seems to have 
played some part in the fall of Crete. Of all the 
much disputed interpretations I prefer the 
simplest, which says that the final explosion 
took place in about 1500 BC (a little before the 
reign of Queen Hatshepsut), and that while 
falling ash may have done some damage to 
Crete, the main blow was the destruction of its 
fleet (merchant and defensive). Seeing the 
Minoans thus weakened and impoverished, 
the Mycenaeans seized the island in about 1450 
(the date of the death of Thutmose III), burnt 
the other palaces and installed one of their 
princes to rule from the Palace of Knossos. 
From soon after this time Mycenaean trade in 
the eastern Mediterranean boomed and there 
were colonies in Rhodes and later Cyprus and 
trading posts in Egypt and throughout the 
Levant, notably at Ugarit and Byblos. The 
Mycenaeans also sailed westward into the still 
prehistoric world of the western Mediter- 
ranean. They did much trade with Italy and 
Sicily, and it has been thought that their hunger 
for metals led them to contacts as far to the 
west as Britain at the period of the final 
reshaping of Stonehenge. 

In the western Mediterranean and much of 
the rest of Europe, 2000 BC marks the begin- 
ning of the early phase of the Bronze Age when 
this alloy displaced copper for small tools and 
weapons, though stone and flint were still used 
for heavy tools and such things as the delicate 
flint arrowheads of the bowmen. Across much 
of Europe north of the Alps there were further 
movements of the warrior peoples (almost 
certainly Indo-Europeans) who had spread 
westward in the previous millennium. They 
played an important part in diffusing the use 
of bronze and of gold. They also left con- 
spicuous monuments in the round mounds or 
barrows under which they were buried with 
their weapons and ornaments. They and their 
descendants played their part in the develop- 


nunt of Stonchcngc, but the histDry of this 
unique niDnument is discussed below 

Northern Europe, owinj; to remoteness and 
lack ot local ores, remained in a neolithic sta^e 
of culture during; this earlv Bronze Arc of their 
neighbours, metallurK\' coming; to them with 
a burst in mid-millenmum 

1 have been forced bv the crowding facts of 
its history to break our present period into two 
parts, so considerable is the distinction between 
the "beginnings" of Assyrians, Babvlonians, 
Hittites, Minoan kingdoms and Europe's earlv 
Bronze Age and the developments that 
followed after about 16(X) BC The Near East 
and Mediterranean became increasingly a 
world of contending great powers led by more 
or less ambitious kings with well-equipped 
annies With the other face of power politics, 
of empire building, campaigns and pitched 
battles went international diplomacy with the 
coming and going of embassies between royal 
seats of government, tribute and the exchange 
of gifts and royal brides. 

One brilliant new invention gave a kind of 
unity to this militaristic world. The Indo- 
Eiu-opean peoples had always been associated 
with the horse and wheeled vehicles: now the 
clumsv solid-wheeled cart or wagon was 
replaced in warfare by the light chariot 
balanced on a pair of spoked wheels. l\obably 
invented by the Hurrians in Syria, it spread 
with such speed among the powers that it is 
drawn across their history as a synchronistic 
line. In the sixteenth century chanotrv was 
employed by the Indo-European anstocracy of 
Hurrians, Hittites, Mycenaean Greeks, and 
Kassites of Babylonia; it was adopted by the 
Egyptians from the Hyksos (among whom were 
HurriansI and carried as far eastward as India 
by the migrating Aryans. It reached China, 
perhaps a little later, with the Shang d\Tiasts. 
Always, as the cavalry of later times, chariotry 
was of great expense and limited to the noble. 

In 1595 Mursilis I, one of the earlier kings 
of the Hittite Old Kingdom, made a sudden 
campaign down the Euphrates, capturing 
Babylon and ending the Amorite line of 
Hammurabi. The fall of this famous city shook 
the ancient world, and although the Hitrites 
did not hold it, the throne was seized by 
Kassites, like the Humans a mountain people 
from the Iranian north,who had acquired 
Indo-European rulers For four centuries 
Babylonia was ruled by a Kassite dynasty 

The stage was now set for the second half 
of our present period and the power struggle 
between Babylonians, Assyrians, Humans, 
Hittites and Egyptians, a struggle centred on 
possession of the northern Levant (particularly 

Syria) which controlled the all-important 
trade routes between east and west, north and 
south It IS a story so complex and so boring tor 
most ot us, that 1 have decided that 1 can txst 
serve the purpose of this book by synchronizing 
some of Its events with the history of Egypt 

When Babylon fell to the Hittites the 
Hvksos were still ruling Lower Egypt to well 
above Memphis and were in league with the 
princes of Kush (Egyptiamzed Nubians whose 
kingdom extended southward from the First 
Cataract at Aswan). Between the two.Theban 
princes were in humiliating subjection to the 
Hyksos By 1600 BC the Thebans sought to 
"deliver Egypt and smite the Asiatics ' and 
after bloody campaigning they succeeded, the 
Hyksos were driven back into Canaan and the 
victor, Ahmose, became the first pharaoh of 
the New Kingdom, For the whole of his mighty 

marble ^tutue from Thebes 

2000- 1000 BC 

; • //f -"■■- 


IS ivt'ikjiied bv Anubis, Thoth recording the result 

Mural detail showing musicians and dancers from the tomb of Neb-Ammi. 
Dynasty XVIIlThebes. 

The Colossi of Mcnmun Lux r These t \oinonuhthitro^ al statues du alllhat iLiuains I 
the great funerary temple bwlt by Amenhotep, son ofHapu. 

Dynasty XVIII (1570-1304) the capital 
remained at Thebes, and its god Amun, hnked 
with the sun god Re of HeliopoUs, became king 
of the j^ods with his greatest temple at Kamak. 
Egypt emerged as an imperialist power, 
determined to control both the Levantine 
states from which the hated Hyksos had come 
and the presumptuous Kingdom of Kush. 
Thutmose I (c.1528-1510 BC), the first pharaoh 
to be buried in a rock-cut tomb in the Valley 
of the Kings, won victories in both directions. 
Indeed he was so successful in the north that 
he defeated the rising Hurrian power of the 
Mitanni m Syria and northern Mesopotamia 
and triumphantly crossed the Euphrates. 
These earlier pharaohs of Dynasty XVIII ruled 
at much the same time as the princes of 
Mycenae were buried in the shaft graves. Soon 
after the death of Thutmose I we can assume 
that the Shang had appeared in China and 
that Scandinavia entered its belated Bronze Age. 

Queen Hatshepsut was a worthy daughter 
of Thutmose I. When her half-brother husband 
died, she took the double crown for herself - 
the first great, regnant queen in history. Girlish 
of face, she often had herself portrayed with 
the dress and attributes of a male pharaoh. 
Reliefs in her beautiful temple tomb in western 
Thebes (Deir el-Bahari) include lively scenes 
from the expedition she sent to Punt (Somalia?) 
for myrrh, gold, baboons and ivory. From a 
painting in her vizier's tomb comes visual 
evidence of contemporaneity: a line of 
unmistakable Minoan envoys bear vessels of 
forms well known from the land of Crete. 
Minoans appear again in paintings from the 
time of Hatshepsut'b successor, and one carries 
a bull-head rhyton like the famous examples 
from Knossos and Zakro. 

This successor was Thutmose III, 
sometimes called the Napoleon of Egypt. 
Control of the Asian territories had weakened 
since his grandfather's day, and he led many 
campaigns against rebellious states of the 
Levant and against the Mitanni, now a strong 
Hurrian kingdom. One of his most decisive 
victories was at the ancient city of Megiddo; 
later he defeated the Mitanni and emulated his 
ancestor by crossing the Euphrates. The tale of 
his exploits was inscribed on commemorative 
stelae and on the imposing buildings he added 
to the temple complex at Kamak. Megiddo was 
described in picturesque detail, the earliest 
known account of a battle. 

Thutmose Ill's organization of the tributary 
states of Asia and of Nubia endured for nearly 
a century. Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite 
kings sent placatory gifts. Wealth flowed into 
Thebes. It was during his long reign ( 1490-1436) 

2000-1000 BC 

that Knossos was occupied hv the Mycenaean 
Greeks and it is probable that betore the end ot 
it Stonehenge had been completed 

The imperial luxury ot Thebes reached its 
height with the reign ot Amenhotep 
(Amenophisl ill, a pleasure-loving, cultivated 
man quite unlike his Napoleonic grandtather 
He further beautified Thebes with the temple 
that dominates modem Luxor His gihed 
architect and namesake, Amenhotep son of 
Hapu, also built for him the great funerary 
temple on the west bank, of which nothing 
survives but the monolithic royal statues that 
came to be known as the Colossi of Memnon 

Dunng this reign, in about 1380 BC, the 
ambitious Suppiluliamas became king of the 
Hittites and sought to crush the Mitanni, now 
allied with the Egyptians against him. 

Amenhotep's son and successor is that 
most controversial of pharaohs, the "heretic" 
Akhenatcn, a genius and mystic who strove to 
replace the mynad gods of Egypt by a 
monotheistic faith in the visible sun, or Aten. 
He revolutionized art as profoundly as he did 
religion, and probably wrote himself the lovely 
"Hymn to the Sun" which, through later 
Canaanite adaptations, inspired Psalm 104. 

In about 1370 he and his quEen, Nefertiti, 
leh Thebes for the holy city they had built at 
el-Amama -where they could worship the 
Aten among gardens and great temples open 
to the sun. Amama art, with its love of nature, 
shows a Minoan quality, possibly introduced 
by Cretan refugees. The citizens of el-Amama 
bought fine flasks of scented oils from the 
Mycenaeans, now the leading traders of the 
eastem Mediterranean. 

The dream life at el-Amama lasted only 
some fifteen years before the conservative 
forces recovered power and the double crown 
returned to Thebes on the head of the boy 
Tutankhamun. Amun-Rc, Osiris, and all the 
ancient gods and their temples were restored. 

One of the most significant finds made at 
el-Amama was that of the palace archives of 
Akhenaten and his father Wntten mainly in 
the then intemational diplomatic language of 
Akkadian, these tablets not only give a sudden 
insight into the cynical world of power politics, 
but also contain many synchronous cross- 
references. The great majority are letters to the 
two pharaohs from their "brother" monarchs 
of Babylonia, Assyria, Mitanni and the Hittite 
kingdom, and from their "servants," the regents 
of the factious vassal states - including Byblos, 
Tyre and Sidon. 

Neither pharaoh had done much to 
maintain their power in Asia and the Hittites 
were challenging it. Near the end of 

^ i ' i ' > i.i ^7.'.(.' / ' ^ J... • -i-- 





A painted casket showing Thtankhtanim in battle was among th. 
ueasiues found in the Pharaoh's tomb in the Valley of the Kin^s 

2000- woo BC 

Hatshepsut, the fiist great 
regnant queen in history, 
often portrayed with the 
attributes of a male pharaoh. 

Akhenaten and Nefertiti 
shown worshipping the 
Aten or visible sun. 

Akhenaten's reign the Mitannian king was 
assassinated, and in about the year of 
Tutankhamun's premature death Suppiluhamas 
crushed the Mitanni and took all Syria. 

The last pharaoh of Dynasty XVIII was in 
fact a former viceroy and general, Hahremhab, 
who followed a policy of law and order and of 
eUminating all memory of Akhenaten. It may 
possibly have been during his reign that the 
Hebrew Descent into Egypt took place, their 
settlement being in the eastern Delta. 

The XIX Dynasty set about restoring 
Egyptian control of Palestine and Syria. Seti I 
(whose fine funerary temple stands at Abydos) 
and his son, the famous Ramesses II, led more 
or less successful campaigns into Syria against 
the Hittites and the petty pnnces allied to 
them. In 1286 the climax was reached with the 
Battle of Kadesh (on the Orontes river); 
Ramesses II himself fought with gallantry and 
averted an Egyptian defeat. He was to have 
accounts of the battle inscribed in several 
temples (including Abu Simbel) claiming a 
great victory; a Hittite account has also been 
found one thousand miles away in Hattusas. It 
will surprise no one in the twentieth century 
AD that the Hittite king also claimed Kadesh 
as a great victory. In fact it was indecisive and 
after some years the two great powers made an 
"eternal" treaty dividing their sphere of 
influence approximately at Byblos. 

At home Ramesses II certainly re- 
established the idea of the wealth and grandeur 
of the pharaoh. He is famous most of all for his 
vast buildings vnth their colossal statues of 
himself. Of these his additions to the titanic 
hypostyle hall at Kamak, the Ramesseum in 
western Thebes and the Nubian temples of 
Abu Simbel are the most spectacular He also 
built a new capital, Pi-Ramesse, in the eastern 
Delta. It is thought that Ramesses II was the 
oppressive pharaoh of the Exodus and that the 
labour forced upon the Hebrews was the 
building of this capital. It seems that Moses, 
having led them in the worship of Yahweh, 
then a god centred on Mount Sinai, brought 
them into the wilderness in about 1250 BC. 
At that date Hazor, north of Galilee, was still 
a flourishing Canaanite city; among other 
luxuries it imported oils from the Mycenaeans 
- as the citizens of el-Amama had done a 
century before. The oil jars prove that round 
about 1230 BC Hazor was burnt and there is 
little doubt that this was the sack by Joshua 
recorded in the Bible (Joshua U> as the Israelites 
approached the northern limits of their 
conquest and settlement of Canaan, It should 
be noted that by now the Canaanites of the 
coastal strip can be called Phoenicians. Under 

the leadership of Tyre they were founding their 
prosperity on the ancient timber trade, the 
purple dye of murex shells and metal working. 

It was also at about this time that the 
Mycenaeans, still at the height of their 
maritime power and wealth, were exposed to 
some threat that caused them to strengthen 
their citadels -as best seen in the cyclopean 
walls, lion gate and underground cistern at 
Mycenae itself. This same threat may possibly 
have provoked them to launch the Trojan War 
at some date before the end of the century. 

A fresh era of violence and folk migrations 
comparable to that at the end of the second 
millennium was in fact beginning. When 
Ramesses died in c. 1224 BC Egypt seemed 
secure, but already in his son's reign the 
kingdom was attacked from the west by a motley 
confederation of Libyans with refugee peoples 
from overseas. This incursion, driven on by 
famine, was part of a displacement of popu- 
lations from the coasts and isles of the central 
Mediterranean probably caused by the 
pressure of migrants moving down from the 
north. Many folk took to their ships, whole 
families together, and for this reason were 
referred to as Peoples of the Sea. 

The frrst onslaught was repulsed, but by 
the beginning of the twelfth century the whole 
eastern Mediterranean was in turmoil. 
Uprisings and invasions (particularly by 
Phrygians from Thrace) in Anatolia at last 
shattered the desperate Hittite resistance, and 
a disorganized horde of Sea Peoples and others 
rolled southward -through Syria. On land the 
families of the fighting men travelled in ox- 
carts, while a fleet of ships moved in concert 
with this horde. Egypt was now ruled by the 
last of her great, military pharaohs, Ramesses III, 
who had already beaten off a second attack 
from the Libyan deserts. In about 1 170 this 
pharaoh defeated the land forces in Canaan. 
The ships of the Sea People were allowed to 
reach the Nile delta where they were routed in 
a naval battle portrayed for us in the huge, 
fortress-like temple (Medinet Habu) in western 
Thebes that still stands almost complete. 

The destruction of the order that the 
Hittites had imposed on Syria led to the break- 
down of the trade routes on which so much 
prosperity had depended. The Mycenaean 
civilization of the palaces disintegrated, art 
became plebeian and provincial, and many 
people left their homeland for settlement 
overseas, more barbaric folk filtering in. 

The same collapse of trade and government 
also affected northern Mesopotamia where the 
Assyrians for a time went under in their long 
see-saw of power with Babylon. However, by 

gfillantn- and a\ened ati 
Egyptian deieat in the Battle 

The Lion Gotc. Mycenae. 
Greece, was placed outside 
the circle of shaft gTa\-es 
later excavated by 

the time Tiglath hlcscr came to the throne in 
c.l 1 IS BC the fortunes oi this most mihtary- 
mimied of jx-oples had swung up once miirc 
and, in spite ot further troubles, their future 
.IS the greatest power ot our next period was 
ilreadv conceived The situation both here and 
i n Syria was comphcated by an influx of yet 
mother Semitic people in succession to the 
Akkadians and Amorites, the Aramaeans, 
:rom the Synan deserts. 

Meanwhile Egypt's defeat of the Peoples of 
he Sea brought her only temporary respite 
\fter Ramesses III, Dynasty XX weakened, 
md Its end in 10^5 BC is held to mark the end 
ilso of the New Kingdom and of the true 
;^haraonic age. Indeed, their repulse did not 
;>revent a section of the People of the Sea from 
remaining in the Levant. The Philistines 
occupied the southern coastal plain of Palestine 
(giving their name to the country), wresting it 
from the Canaanites and the recently settled 
Israelites. Archaeology supports the tradition 
that a strong element of the Philistines came 
trom the Aegean, deri\nng in some manner 
trom the shattering of Mycenaean power. 
Within the last few decades of the second 
millennium their mounting pressure on the 
Israelites provoked Saul to lead the resistance, 
and, despite the disaster of Mount GOboa, to 
open the way for David and Solomon and their 
united kingdom in our next period. So at one 
and the same time the "Grandeur that was 
Egypt" grew dim while the unique genius of the 
Jewash people rose in brilliance. 

While chronicling the crowded history of 
the ci\Tlized world of the Near East and eastern 
Mediterranean after 1600 BC I have included 
brief references to a few of the chief events in 
the regions which remained in the relative 
obscurity of prehistory. I must now try to make 
the story more complete. 

In spite of contacts with higher civilizadon 
there were no profound changes in the Ufe of 
the peoples of the western Mediterranean but 
this was the time when local monumental 
creations (particularly on the islands) now 
familiar to all present-day sightseers were 
developed undisturbed. Rock-cut tombs were 
at their height at Anghelu Ruju but even more 
remarkable were the hundreds of tombs, some 
with symbol-carved entrances, at Castellucio 
near Syracuse. The massive n^vetd tombs of 
Minorca began to be built early in the period, 
but the well-known defensive towers, the 
talayots of this island and Majorca only 
towards its end. Other such towers, the 
Sardinian nuroghi and Corsican tone. 
probably the strongholds of small chieftains, 
seem to date back rather earher 


The middle Bronze Age (from c.1450) in 
northern Italy was prosperous owing to its 
metal ores and close contact, probably 
involving immigration as well as trade, with the 
highly progressive bronze manufacturers of 
central Europe For Spain and Portugal, on the 
other hand, this was a sluggish time, although 
in the southeast ( Almeria) there were semi- 
urbanized communities trading with the 
eastern Mediterranean -as can be seen in the 
rich grave goods from the cemetery of the 
fortified hill-top settlement of El Argar 

In western Europe the barrow-building 
warnor aristocracy was still supreme, and 
especially prosperous in Brittany and Wessex. 
We have seen that these people played a part in 
developing the British henge monuments in 
the last millenniiun (p 97) and their descendants 
were now responsible for the architectural 
evolution of that unique temple -Stonehenge. 

Soon after 2000 BC the Beaker people were 
concerned in the extraordinary enterprise of 
transporting the bluestones from south Wales. 
There seems no doubt that the next stage, the 
tremendous effort of bringing the colossal 
sarsen stones over a distance of some twenty 
miles, shaping and erecting them, was organized 
by the chieftains who were buried (as were 
their women folk! in the round barrows that 
cluster near Stonehenge. Although the 
foundation of their wealth was in cattle, this 
elite traded with Ireland and central Europe. It 
was formerly thought that their closest bond 
was with the Mycenaeans as eager customers 
for their metals. For a time radiocarbon dates 
appeared to show that the whole mighty 
enterprise on Salisbury Plain had been 
completed before the first Mycenaean princes 
were laid in the shaft graves. Now, however, 
there has been another turn of the kaleidoscope 
and it is admitted that the completed design of 
sarsens and bluestones as we see it today dates 
from 1500-1400 BC and is therefore 
contemporary with the early Mycenaean age. 
To sum up, I will set out approximate time- 
equations for the long history of Stonehenge: 
(1) The original New Stone Age sacred 
enclosure —the step pyramid of Zoser, or if this 
is a little too early, the Royal Cemetery of Ur 
and the pyramids of Giza; (2) The Beaker phase 
with bluestone circle— the Middle Kingdom of 
Egypt and the first rise of Babylon; (3) The final 
construction by Wessex chieftains — the shaft 
graves of Mycenae, or the height of the 
Egyptian New Kingdom under Queen 
Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. 

By the end of the fifteenth century Britain 
and all western Europe were entering the 
middle phase of their Bronze Age (correspond- 

2000-1000 BC 

Ceiemonial spearhead of 
Shangperiod has a white 
jade blade and a turquoise 
mosaic inlaid bronze socket. 

Shan$ bronze rnual wme 
vessel ortsun. Anlnu, 
China. These elaborate 
vessel types either served 
as receptacles for meats and 
vfine or were used for ritual 

ing with the late Bronze Age of the eastern 
Mediterranean); the supply of copper and tin 
was better organized and casting techniques 
approached those of Sumeria, a thousand years 
earlier. Weaponry in particular was developed, 
now including long rapiers. 

At about the same time the peoples of the 
north European plain and Scandinavia were 
entering their long-delayed early Bronze Age. 
The smiths, learning methods from central 
Europe, produced outstandingly fine weapons 
and personal ornaments, often enriched with 
intricate spiral designs. In the later centuries of 
the second millennium groups of huge round 
barrows were raised in Denmark and under 
some of these oak coffins were found within 
which woollen garments, bonnets and caps 
were preserved. Valuable bronzes were cast 
into bogs as votives for the gods -among them 
the famous Trundholm sun chariot. 

Towards the end of our present period, 
when the Peoples of the Sea were active in the 
orient, folk migrations affected much of 
Europe, making a sharp break with the past in 
many regions. The outcome of these move- 
ments will be discussed in the next chapter 

The retarded but brilliant opening of the 
north European Bronze Age was almost exactly 
contemporary with the even more sudden and 
brilliant first Bronze Age of China. The whole 
purpose of this book will have been vindicated 
if it dispels the persistent popular belief that 
Chinese civilization is the most ancient in the 
world. Neohthic traditions had in fact persisted 
until about 1500 BC.The existence of a long 
line of Shang kings was recorded in the eighth 
century BC Book of Docuinents, but they were 
judged to be legendary until two of their capital 
cities were discovered. The earlier one was in 
central Honan, but in about 1400 BC the 
capital was shifted northward to Great Shang 
near Anyang. Here were the houses and 
temples of the all-powerful ruling dynasty 
where men and animals had been buried as 
foundation sacrifices. In one place a whole 
company of soldiers, with five charioteers and 
their vehicles and horses, had been slaughtered 
and buried together. Altogether 852 human 
victims were identified -compared with which 
the sacrifices at the Royal Tombs of Ur of a 
thousand years before appear restrained. In 
many of the tombs were fine jades and cast 
bronze vessels of the most amazing beauty and 
elegant stylization. Their shapes and motifs 
were to endure until the Han period. 

A most curious custom of the Shang kings 
had been the taking of oracle by heating ox 
bones and tortoise shells. They sought guidance 
on matters from military tactics to the weather 

and royal toothaches. Often questions and 
answers were inscribed on the bones, and 
these, together with a few signs on bronzes, are 
the earliest known Chinese characters. They 
are contemporary with the Linear B tablets of 
the Mycenaeans. 

In 1027 BC the Shang dynasty was brought 
to an end by the invading armies of the Chou, 
apparently driving in from the west. The new 
dynasty was to endure for nearly eight 
centuries and to support many of China's 
greatest thinkers. 

In Meso and South America the second 
millennium saw the beginning of the cultures 
that were later to attain high civilization, and 
for that reason it is called the Early Pre-Classic 
or Early Formative period. Some of the most 
significant developments were in South 
America. The art of potting seems to have 
spread southward into the highlands of Peru 
from its earliest centres m Columbia and 
Ecuador It is found at Kotosh by about 1800 BC 
at a settlement that is far more remarkable for 
temples, including that of the Crossed Hands, 
built of stone with mud mortar and raised on a 
platform. In the coastal valley maize, peanuts 
and probably manioc were introduced to the 
great benefit of the food supply. Villages grew 
in size and the farmers and fisher folk advanced 
their religious life with temples and adjoining 
ceremonial buildings -as at Chuquitanta. 

In Mexico and Guatemala potting was 
spreading by 2000 BC having probably begun 
rather earlier in the Tehuacan valley and on 
the Pacific coast of Panama, where it was made 
by simple communities dependent on the 
produce of the sea. With potting went the 
manufacture of a variety of figurines, probably 
for domestic cults. Although there was an 
increase in the size of villages (including now 
the Oaxaca valley) and in their houses and 
amenities, there is no certain evidence for 
ceremonial centres before 1000 BC. It may be, 
however, that a ceremonial organization of 
society had already been created on the hot 
Gulf coasts of the Tabasco-Vera Cruz region, 
where the Olmec culture with its famous "big 
heads", pyramids and plazas would be 
flourishing soon after 1000 BC. 

In North America there are no great 
changes to record. Maize cultivation was 
spreading in the southwest and protein 
supplies were increased by the introduction of 
beans. In the southeast, especially Florida and 
Georgia, communities that had not yet adopted 
agriculture began to make simple pottery. The 
enormous abundance of salmon along the 
northwest coast enabled fishing groups to 
construct permanent villages by about 1500 BC. 

2000 - UXX) BC 

The Misiri,? oi the idrsens 
and Lntels at Stonehenge 
must have proved almost as 
difficult as their trans- 
portation It seems that a 
foundation pit was dug 
with one side in the form of 
a sloping ramp and the 
facing side vertical. Stakes 
were driven in against the 
vertical side to prevent the 
chalk being crushed by the 
sarsen stone as it was raised. 
The sarsen was then moved 
towards the ramp on rollers, 
and the end levered up 
until the stone over- 
balanced into the pit. The 
sarsen was hoisted by 
means of levers, timber 
packing, struts and finally 
gpngs of men hauhng on 
ropes. The linuls were 

probably manoeuvred inti : 
position by means of levers 
and a platform built out of 
alternate stacked lengths of 
timber The lintel was raised 
a foot or two at a time on 
temporary supports and the 
platform gradually built, 
and planked, beneath it 
until It was level with the 

The Thmdholm sun chariot 
from Denmark, one of the 
valuable bronzes cast into 
bogs as votives for the gods 

2000- 1000 BC 

Technology 2000-1000 BC 

This period saw the further development and 
elaboration of bronze working. New techniques 
such as riveting, soldering and particularly 
sheet metal work made the production of large- 
scale items possible. Moreover, advanced 
casting procedures using clay cores required 
much smaller amounts of metal. These skills 
spread to new areas and were widely imitated 
so that by the end of the period craftsmanship 
in central Europe was as competent as in the 
Near East. China apparently discovered the 
alloying of bronze for itself and developed it 
in unparalleled directions. Though they lagged 
in sheet metal work, Chinese casting of ritual 
vessels was far in advance of anything bronze- 
smiths were producing elsewhere. 

Smiths in Anatolia now began to master the 
special methods of extracting useful metal 
from the unpromising iron ores. It was, however, 
only in the next millennium that knowledge of 
this new material spread to other areas making 
Its impact on their cultures. 

But with the full mastery of bronze 
working, other crafts received an enormous 
boost, notably carpentry. The appearance of 
the light horsedrawn chariot owed almost as 
much to the development of good wood 
working tools as it did to the introduction of 
the horse. Boat building benefited equally and 
the Egyptian tomb decorations of the New 
Kingdom show many innovations - both in 
their own ships and those of their opponents. 
Lavishly crafted furniture was a further result 
of these improved tools. 

Writing was invented several times in the 
period and some changes were apparent. While 
early scripts had all incorporated a phonetic 
element, the Minoan Cretans went further 
wdth two syllabic scripts. Linear A and Linear 
B, in which phonetics predominated. They 
were vmtten in abstract characters not 
pictographs. In the Levant the Hittites employed 
a form of hieroglyphs written in alternating 
directions, most of the symbols being picto- 
graphic. But they also used cuneiform, adapted 
to their own language, which they borrowed 
from Mesopotamia. The Chinese began using 
ideographs - characters representing whole 
ideas - which were directly ancestral to their 
present day language. 

Advances in knowledge for its own sake 
are also characteristic of this millennium, 
notably Babylonian observations on 
mathematics and astronomy. It has been 
claimed, however, that these same interests are 
evident as well in such far-afield places as the 
stone circles of Britain. 

The Americas 

Ground stone and bone 
continued to be used for 
weapons and tools as the New 
World progressed towards 
food producing Intricate 
textiles of cotton and wool 
were woven on looms or 
twined by hand. 

Western Mediterranean 

Highly competent bronze 
work was produced particularly 
in the Po valley of northern 
Italy Pottery and other natural 
materials were used for 
ornaments and moulds 


1 1 ^ 1 

Slone Copper Bronze Iron 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Western Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 


Contincnul Europe 

Metal working, cspvi ullv in 
hri)n;i-, tloiirishcil, particular 
(iir weapons anJ ornaments 
throughout the area The boa 
engraved on a Swedish razor 
and the potierv model ot a 
uaKon trom Iransvlvania 
point to the kindol 
transportation available at 
that lime 

Far Ea»t 

The Shanx IJynasty saw the 
rise ot an acaimplmhcd 
brunzc icchnuloKV as well as 
the introduction ot writinx m 
China The chariot which 
apiKarcd at the end ot the 
period was borrowed trom 
the steppes to the west 


Improved metal workinx 
techniques such as advanced 
casting methods led to better 
carpentry tools The cratts- 
manship in chariots and 
turniturc illustrate what could 
be achieved with these supenor 
tools Simple glass in 
moulded form was added 
to the range ot available 


Ot more interest than 
improved bronze and 
carpentry, or even the new 
alglass, arethe tirst 
signs ot a stirring ot scientific 
curiosity Mathematical and 
astronomical ublets have 
been preserved from 
Babylonian times. 


India remained backward in 
metal work as the curious 
implements in the Gangetic 
hoards attest. But more 
advanced daggers and shaft- 
hole axes were beginning to 
appear from the west where a 
particularly active school of 
bronzesmiths worked. 

2000- 1000 BC 


The chariot was introduced 
from regions to the 
(probably northern Syria) 
and revolutionized warfare. 
Its invention was dependent 
on the domestication of the 
horse in the steppes and 
improvements in bronze 
wood working tools. Clay 
tablets have preserved early 
astronomical and mathe- 
matical computations - a 
famiharity with numbers 
was necessary not only for 
calculating grain yield but 
also for recording the 
suspicious conjunctions of 
heavenly bodies. 

TUtankhamun's chair 

Western Med 

The niO!.t .uiv.inccd pan 
this .irij w.i> nurthcrn It 
whin- .111 .icti 
iniJustrv tliuirislud. 
supplied ItDin the ca-stcrn 
Alps At lakeside sites like 
Pcschierj, at the toot of 
Lake Carda and close to the 
Adige and the Brenner Pass 
route, and again in the 
terremare south ot the I'o, 
industrial communities 
sprang up, adva^d wt 
beyond the subsRtence 
farming stage I'otterv 
braziers or stoves lor 
burning charcoal were 
among domestic equip- 
ment on sites tJirough thi 
lulian peninsula. 

Doubleedfied razor. Italy 

Continenul Europe 
Mining techniques were 
improved as ores from 
progressively deeper levels 
in the eastern Alps were 
worked But there was still 
scope for the re-processing 
of scrap metal where 
natural sources were 
lacking as in Denmark. 
Bronze axes were traded 
widely across the continent 
in a time of growing 
hostilities. Decorated 
metalwork characterized 
•riuments and utensils 

Bronze battle-axe in soap 
stone mould. Denmark 


The two ends of the region 
differed greatly in tech- 
nological achievement. The 
bizarre obiects from the 
Cangctic hoards in India 
are very primitive and 
usually still of copp 
in open moulds But in 
Luristan, in the central 
Zagros, extraordinarily 

F«r Eati 

Bronze ritual vci.icl.i were 
east in nuilli piece moulds skill by the 
prdlessumal bronze 
workers ot Slung Dyna-itv 
China The mould.<i 
I sometimes containing as 
iii.iiiv .IS til -.1 itions) were 

2(H)U - lOUU HC 

cast piece by piece in clay 
round j wax model The 
• position of each 
piece was ensured by 
dowels so (hat they could 
be reassembled in strict 
register Channels and 
vents were added to let 
bronze in and air escape 

Battle-axe. Lunstan 

2000-1000 BC 

Architecture 2000 - 1000 BC 

The architecture of this period depends to a 
large extent on local developments rather than 
broad trends. In the first part of the millen- 
nium, palaces of remarkably modem 
appearance were designed in Crete. They not 
only served as administrative centres for 
powerful rulers but were constructed for 
comfortable hving. The great central court- 
yards, bathrooms, interconnected living 
suites, sky-hghts and gaily frescoed walls all 
reflected an interest in beauty as weU as utility. 

In Egypt a burst of temple building 
occurred during the New Kingdom of 1580- 
1070 BC. While no new techniques were 
employed, old ones were used in ever more 
impressive ways. The emphasis was on 
grandeur, imposing exteriors and dim and 
religious interiors. Most temple complexes 
consisted of a stone -waUed courtyard, a 
hypostyle hall (roofed and supported by pillars) 
and a sanctuary. The santuary^s central room 
housed the statue of the god and adjoining 
storerooms contained ritual objects. Tomb 
building for the most part gave way to more 
functional approaches, the imposing 
monuments having invited spoliation. But the 
tombs in the Valley of the Kings were monu- 
mental in the extreme and only one, that of 
Tutankhamun, preserved its contents. 

The other centres of civilization made little 
advance architecturally Quite apart from the 
use of perishable mudbrick, there was real 
dechne in Mesopotamia, politically under the 
Kassites and economically as a result of the 
increasing salinity of the plains. Indus archi- 
tecture, as we have seen, appeared unexciting, 
though incorporating advanced principles of 
town planning and drainage. Moreover, it 
disappeared with the collapse of civilization 
around 1750 BC in that area. Chinese 
architectme of the Shang dynasty is difficult to 
judge because of the sparse remains, and was 
probably far more elaborate than the surviving 
ranuned earth foundations suggest. Any 
wealth of woodcarving or fabric hanging has 
vanished irrevocably. The royal tombs at least 
were very richly furnished. 

But, as ah-eady noted, it is not only advanced 
civilizations which can aspire to a remarkable 
architecture. In Britain the megalithic 
tombs were followed by noteworthy stone 
and occasional timber circles. In the Western 
Mediterranean, elaborate rock -cut tombs and 
large-scale drystone fortifications were widely 
distributed. And while little architectural 
evidence remains, the first temples and monu- 
mental buildings arose at this time in Peru. 


Western Mediterranean 

Rock-cut tombs were found 
throughout the area but the 
fortified towers were more 
restricted. Variants did exist 
m the Balearics, Corsica and 
particularly Sardinia along 
with other more local monu- 
ments like the naveta 
megalithic tomb in Minorca. 

Mei.ahth}^ chamber -r .«- 

The Americas 

The first ceremonial centres 
and imposing temple structures 
were erected in Peru at this 
time as at El Paraiso on the 
coast and at Kotosh in the 



:: ■7-^'' "^ 

^ji - -L: 

Tomb Culdt 

Eastern Mediterranean 
Western Mediterranean 
Continental Europe 



Coniinenul Euiopc 
rhc jrchitccturc at this tunc 
vancii in response to the 
pcculuntics ut cjch region 
The tiirmsteud ot Wjsscrburg 
stood on J dercnJc J islet in j 
|jke The reconstructed 
mortujrv house ot Leubingcn 
held i nch burul jnd was 
covered bv a barrow Stone- 
hen^c, local point ot j tlourish- 
injn society in southern 
England, vvjs the most 
extraordinary ot the henge 

Far East 

The town houses ot the Shang 
capiul at Anyanx were larger 
and more imposing than 
anything previous, but their 
rammed earth and timber 
construction leaves us little 
idea of their original 
appearance The pit tombs of 

thcrov.i' :- impic 

but mil I 

(^ - , Mortujn- hruw 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The walls built by the Hittites 
to surround their city ot 
Boghazkoy and by the 
Myccnaeans to protect their 
town and royal cemetery were 
necessary defensive works 
The palaces at Knossos and 
Phaestos represent the peak 
ot Mmoan architecture. 


Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, 
with their town planning and 
drains, survived to about 
1 750 BC. They show an 
interesting rather than a great 
architecture -efficient but 
unexciting. Even this dis- 
appeared with the collapse of 
the Indus civilization. 

Egypt t-c,:t.v 

The great stone temples, which 
included many architectural 
masterpieces, sprang up 
thickly through the period of 
the New Kingdom They were 
planned on firmly traditiona- 
list principles, though some 
innovation hke the brick arch 
from the Ramesseum was 
shown Decorative obelisks 
had a reUgious significance 


The temples and aggxirats of 
the Tigris-Euphrates were built 
of mudbrick, which 
necessitates a more stolid 
plan than stone Surviving 
buildings do not show much 
advancement from the 
previous period 

\ ■' . 1 

Eastern Mcdii 

rhc wjIUdI, 
C.rcccc, were JcmkikJ li> 
protect [he rich rovjl shaft 
►;rjve> ul the nohlc Jcad as 
well as serving as Jetcnecs 
lorthchvinK The more 
ambitious Minuan 
architecture, however, was 
gracious hvm>; Like the 
other Miiioaii palaces, 
KnossDs had roval apart- 
ments, storage rooms and 
shrines built around a 
central court l\iblic rooms 
were on the second floor 
Good stune was available 
and when used in 
conjunction with the 
timber framing gave the 

\ji clj c.s TliJo;u, Ali/iorcj 
Riickcul tombs. Minorca 

Continental Europe 

Stonehenxe is outstandinK 
amimKthe heiiRe monu- 
ments in Htiiam - circular 
structures ot stone or 
wooden upriKhts Blocks of 
stone up to S4 tons were 

] transported to this site from 
24 miles |4fl km! off, 

' dressed to shape and 
erected tltlurs were raised 
to serve as lintels The 

1 shaping included subtle 

I architectural tricks like the 
swelling of uprights, the 
tapering of lintels, and the 

j curvature of the circle ot 
lintels over the outer hng, 
all intended to improve the 
visual, aesthetic appear- 
ance ot the building 
Within the main structure 
were subsidiary stones of 

around 4 tons weight 
These were imported with 
immense labour from 
I'rcscelly.l.U miles 
1220 km) away in Wales 
The site appears to 
represent the corporate 
achievement of a wealthy 
society, whose leading 
members lay in the barrows 
which cluster around |The 
burial illustrated IS ol a 
similar but less architeclur 
ally inclined group in 
Germany! Two maior 
controversies have raged 
over this monument The 
building's function has 
been strongly debated and 
questionable contact with 
Mycenaean Greece has 
been inferred from the 
architectural niceties 


Stonehenge c 1500 BC, Salisbury Plain, England 

structure a measure ot 
~, resilience very valuable in 
an earthquake zone. 

Western Mcdii 

The cemetery ot rock-cut 
tombs at Cala Coves in 
Minorca is carved into 
clitts Burial was by 
mhumation, earlier 
skeletons being swept to 
the back or thrown out to 
make way for their 
successors Later tombs 
continued the tradition of 
communal burial The 
Minorcan version was the 
naveta. which resembles 
an upturned boat This was 
built of substantial but not 
enormous blocks of stone, 
set without mortar. 


An elaborate drainage 
system was one of the 
noteworthy achievements 
of the Indus civilization 
cities The drains, like the 
streets, were clearly laid oul 
and maintained by a civic 


authority Manholes at 
intervals allowed workers 
to clear them regularly of 
their accumulated rubbish 
The house drains - an 
enclosed system of clay 
pipes - were connected to 
sewers byopen brickguttcrs 

Far East 

The shaft tombs of the 
emperorsat Anyang, China, 
are extremely simple 
architecturally. A pit in 
the bottom of the main 
shaft held the royal burial, 
offerings stood on the 
surrounding shelf and 
ramps gave access from 
ground level AJl were cut 
trom the compact but sott 
loess soil of the area The 
buildings had rammed 
earth foundations but only 
these and the post-holes 
survive The occasional 
bronze buned as a found j 




Shang period house. China 

stone blocks set in mud 
mortar. Complexes of con- 
joined rooms were later 
filled with stone and earth 
and were used as a platform 
for the next storey 

The Americas 

El Paraiso in Peru was one 
of the first ceremonial 
centres. Terraces, steps 
and platforms were built of 
roughly dressed or natural 

Tbmple platfonn.El Paraiso. Peru 

2000- 1000 BC 

Alt 2000- 1000 BC 

In Mesopotamia the most interesting work 
was created by the Semitic peoples in the 
northern valley, especially in the enormous 
palace built at Mari early in the period. It had 
mural paintings and a collection of sculptures. 
The palace was destroyed by Hammmabi, 
whose own law stele is a good example of the 
maintenance of Sumerian tradition. The 
Kassites probably introduced sculpture in cut 
brick that was to be developed by the Assyrians. 

The imperial spirit of the New Kingdom 
pharaohs is very evident at Thebes, much of it 
over-ripe, though some of the individual 
statues of pharaohs were of high quality. So, 
too, were the reliefs in the tombs of the nobles. 
By far the most remarkable event was, however, 
the revolution in the visual arts inspired by the 
"heretic" pharaoh Akhenaten. The old formal 
conventions were broken down, and a fresh 
Ufe, movement and informality substituted. In 
the newly founded city of the Aten at 
el-Amama, Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their 
daughters were shown eating, kissing and 
driving out together The royal palaces 
contained charming murals of the bird, animal 
and plant hfe of the Nile. Even after the failure 
of this extraordinary enterprise and the return 
to Thebes, the Amama style can be seen in 
many of the works from Tutankhamun's tomb. 

In Anatolia the rise of the Hittite empire 
during the fifteenth century led to the develop- 
ment of monumental sculpture. Massive has 
rehef s were carved on the foundation courses 
of palaces and temples and on natural rock 
surfaces. These kings and divinities were 
somewhat stiff and clumsy, yet conveyed a 
certain dignity. 

The art of the Minoan Old Palaces is 
largely represented by magnificent painted 
pottery and some still very provincial figurines. 
It was the artists of New Palace times after 
1700 BC who created an entirely new European 
art. It was not monumental like that of the 
oriental powers, but exquisite, lively, feminine, 
and intensely sensitive to nature. 

The Mycenaean Greeks, from the sixteenth 
century onwards, imitate the Minoans in all 
their arts. Their more masculine values and 
lesser talent generally made their work more 
mechanical, while hunting and warfare 
became favoured subjects. The Lion Gate of 
Mycenae symbolizes this changed spirit. 

Although the Shang emperors and their 
nobles are known to have elegant possessions, 
their art has to be judged by their ritual bronzes. 
These are superb, particularly the surface 
decoration of the more restrained pieces. 

The Americas 

In the valley of Mexico and 
Guatemala, simple but weU 
shaped pottery and figurines 
were made. The Peruvian 
temples of Kotosh and Cerro 
Sechin had a little simple rehef 
carving and in Ecuador gourds 
were high decorated 

Western Mediterranean 

The earh Bronze Age of the 
region did not produce much 
art, only simple craftsmanship 
in bone, pottery and bronze. 
While the rock-cut tombs in 
Sicily had relief carvings, in the 
Camonica Valley of north Italy 
thousands of rock engravmgs 
were made. In Spain the people 
of El Argar produced some 
ornamental bronze work. 

2000-1000 BC 

Contincnul Europe 
At the tliiiux ot their Bronze 
A^cc the Balkjn peoples 
produccJ handsomely shaped 
pots, lixunnes and ornamental 
Kold work In Ireland and 
Hntain tme Kold ornaments 
.iiul \ i ^Ncls were dcMxnrd and 
jttcr l5U)orn.iniLiual bronze 
work he^an m Scandinavia 
In Norway and Sweden rock 
enKravini;s now show ships, 
sunboats and human subjects 

Eastern Mcdi 
Fromilu- hcginninj^olthe 
period Minoan artists of Crete 
painted and carved ihcir 
masterpieces for palaces and 

mansions The 
Mvccnaean Greeks of the 

land took over the 
Minuan styles and later spread 
them far overseas. The Hitlitcs 
developed monumental has 
rcliel carving on royal 
a buildings and rock faces Less 
'*■ sophisticated art lorms 
continued in the Levant. 


Thebes, with its temples and 
tombs of pharaohs and nobles, 
was now the great artistic 
centre. Tuunkhamuns 
possessions reveal the richness 
of smaller works of art and fine 
craftsmanship Akhenaten 
and Nefertiu developed theii 
revolutionary art at 
elArmama, between Thebes 
and Memphis. 


Although Semites took the 
lead in these Old Babylonian 
times, Sumerian an forms 
were maintained as can be 
seen in the stele on which 
Hammurabi s famous law code 
was inscribed, and the portrait 
head ut this king found at Susa. 
The only considerable paint- 
ing and the best sculpture 
comes from the palace of Mari. 
Kassite rulers introduced 
sculpture in moulded brick. 

Far £a>t 

rhe territory of the Shang 
lay along the general line of the 
Yellow river in Shansi, Honan 
and Shantung There superb 
bronze ritual vessels were cast, 
already assuming most of the 
specialized classic forms 
There was carving in ladc 
In Japan, jomon pottery and 
figurines became yet more 
ornate and dccorauvc. 





At the beginning of the period 
copper tablets (possibly 
amuletsi, engraved with 
pictographs and a variety of 
animals were added to the 
modest arts of the Indus 
civilization. Before 1700 the 
civilization was in decline. 

2000 - woo BC 


The magnificent palace 
built at Mari early in the 
period is the only place 
where important mural 
painting has survived in 
Mesopotamia. It is not 
known how many of its 30U 
rooms were decorated, but 
such scenes as we have 
show offerings and 
sacrifices being made to 
the god, all the participants 
wearing elaborate robes 
and head gear. These are 
stiff and uninteresting, but 
they are framed by some 
elegantly formahzed 
trees and mythological 
beasts. The palace was once 
full of sculpture - including 
the handsome Lady of the 
Flowing Vase. 

RIGHT; Tadhahyas IV curved 
in lock, Yazilikaya, Turkey. 
This sculpture of the king in 
his ceremonial robes is one 
of the finest rehefs at the 
Hsttite sanctuary. 

FAR RIGHT: Gold mask of 
Agumeniiion li). Mycenae, 

Wall ptJiiuiiig /rtjiii lilt' paldi 


The head of Queen 
Netertiti from el-Amarna 
is probably the most 
famous work of art from 
the entu-e Bronze Age 
world. It was found in the 
workshop of the sculptor 
Thutmose and must date 
to about 1362 BC. It is of 
painted limestone, the eyes 
inlaid with rock crystal. 
This head is in fact not 
quite typical of the revolu- 
tionary art of el-Amarna, 
being too simply natura- 
stic. Nevertheless it is 

alive, personal - and tinged 
with tragedy. The pectoral 
jewel found in a casket in 
Tutankhamun's tomb is of 
gold inlaid with lapis, 
turquoise, chalcedony, 
carnelian and coloured 
glass. The winged scarab 
symbohzingthe sun 
supports symbols of the 
moon. Like much of 
Tutankhamun's jewellery 
this is heavy and over- 
crowded. It cannot have 
been made more than ten 
years after the head of his 
mother-in-law, Nefertiti 

Tiitankhamun's pectoral. gold cloisonne with f^lass and 
semi-precious stones. Valley of the Kings 

L'li Nefertiti. polychrnmed limestone.Tell el-Amarna 

" Rull-leapers" fresco. 
Knossus. Crete 

Western Medii 

Thousands of engravings 
were cut on Italy's icc- 
smoothed rocks. They 
seem to have been made 
over a long period of time. 
Some depict hunting 
scenes, but many more are 
of houses, fields, domestic 
animals and ploughing. 


Hun ting scene engraved on 
rock, Camonica Valley, Italy 

t.istcm Mediterranean 
^i Lilpiurc (louri-shcd in the 
imperial age alter c 1450 BC 
1 lie sanctuary ot Yazllikaya 
iiLar the capital ot Hattusas, 
^lMpcd trom colossal rock 
liting trom the 13th 
century. The relicts includ. 
-Liiresot gods and 
cnddcsscs and a tew royal 
personages. Frescoes from 
knossos range trom life 
^i;e to miniatures. The 
tamous bull-leaping scene 
with its border simulatinj; 
variegated stones is only 
cms) high. Two 
Kirls and a youth take pan 
in the game. The Minoans 
tollowed the Egyptian con 
of painting women 
with white skin, men with 
red. The finest of the gold 
masks from the shaft 
graves at Mycenae shows 
the strong, bearded face ot 
a warrior pnnce. 

Continenul Europe 

rhe corrugated gold cup 
trom a Cornish grave prob- 
ably dates from about 1500 
BC Vessels much like it 
come from the shaft graves 
of Mycenae and it may 
reflect Mycenaean 
influence on Britain In the 
northern Bronze Age the 
animal rock art was largely 
supplanted by other 
-ubiects, including ships 
I hesc might have reUgious 
meaning, being sun barges. 


The lndu^ civilization 
bcgmii (o enter a pcrioil ot 
decline .loon alter U»X) BC, 
but there l^ no rea-ion to 
doubt that the artists 
continued llieir modol 
ciuiput, including their 
skilful modellmgof sacred 


Far Ease 

The more ornate ot the 
magnificent Shang bronze 
IS represented by the yu 
ritual wine vessel with its 

Tkrracotta f inure nia hull. 
MohenjoDarn, Indui 

vessels were far more 
restrained and elegant in 
style. Details were engraved 
on elaborate piece moulds 
before casting in many 

Engrdving. Bohuslcin. Sweden The Ri/iiiton goJd cup. Wcwex culture. Cnrnwall. England 

The Americas 

Without benefit of a potter's 
wheel the early farmers in 
the Vallev ot Mexico 
created their wares by 
coiling and hand modelling 
Incision was the most 
frequent form of decora- 
tion, paint was used only in 
small quantities. Many 
female figurines, possibly 
used to promote crop 
fertility, were found in 
this area. 
Head. Valley of Mexico 

2000-WOOBC Summary Chart 

Events and developments 


Isin-Lars? period 2025-1 763. Empire Hammurabi 

of Hammurabi of Babylon 1 792-1 750. Tiglath-Pileser 

Kassites 1595, early Assyrians. 
Mitanni in N.Syria. 

Hyksos domination leads to fall of 
Middle Kingdom 1640. New Kingdom 
1570-1075 with conquests in Asia. 
Akhenaton's heresy. Attacks by People 
of the Sea 1232, 1186. 

Amenhotep 1, ! 




Ramesses II 



Hittites move into Anatolia and found 
cmpirec.l 750. Eruption of Jhera. 
Minoan Empire collapses 1450. 
Trojan War c.1250. Sea Peoples sweep 
area c.1200. Phoenician cities established. 

Local developments, e.g. nuraghi in 
Sardinia. Mycenaean trade to S. Italy, 
Sicily, Sardinia. 

Bronze working spreads throughout area, 
supported by trade network including 
amber Warrior societies. Spread of 
Urnf icld burial rites. 

Collapse of Indus Civilization 1750. 
Survives at lower level in Ganges and 
Bombay areas. Aryan invasions into 
NW after 1500.Indo-Europeans into 
Iran even earlier 


Rise of Shang Dynasty in Honan 1500, 
overthrown by Western Chou 1027. 
Agriculture spreads throughout area. 

Farming spreads slowly to all 
Mesoamerica. Maize introduced 
to S. America at end of period. 
Root cultivation in Amazon lowlands. 
Maize cultivation spreads to 
southwest N. America. 

a; Agriculture^ Hunting"?^ Urban life cS Trade 4^ 


Technology and invcniions 

Bronze plentiful GUm, horec chariot, 
heavier plough in use Babylonian 
astronomy and miithcmjtic.i 

Bronze becomes general, as also {daw 
and laicnce Fine carpentry. Horse 
chariot introduced. 


IVriod of comparative 

Burst of temple building under New 
KiiiKdoin, ;iKJin under Harnesses 
csiHciallvai Thebes Tombs in 

Art and literature 

Decline of Sumcnan art. Sumcrian 
ceases at as hving language. 
Epic of Gilgfuneih. 

Vigorous art development under 

New KinRdiim, especially under 

Akhcnjton, particularly in fresco, 

(tone reliefs, jcwclicry, furniture, 


Talc of ibe Ehxjuent Peasant The 

Story of Swuhe 

Improved shipping. Chariot. Skilled 
pottery, metal working Syllabic 
wruiiiR in Crete and Greece, alphabet 
in Livant Iron technology mastered 
hv Hittucs. 

Cretan palaces. Mycenaean, Trojan 
and Hitiite citadels. Mycenaean 
shaft graves and tholos tombs 

Minoan and Mycenaean art in 
frescoes, jewellery, ceramics, 
scalstones, figurines, metal work. 

Bronze working becomes generally 

Nuraghi and giants' graves in 
Sardinia Talayots in Balcancs. 
Torn in Corsica. Rock -cut tombs 
especially in Sicily. Hut villages. 

Craft competence in bronze and 
pottery, but later declining in north of 
area. Rock art in Camonica Valley, 
Monte Bego. 

Bronze working gains steadily in 
competence, especially for weapons. 
Evidence for skills in astronomical 

Stone and timber circles and 
alignments, Stonchcnge |unique) 
Round barrows, timber built villages 

Skilled workmanship in bronze, but 
craft rather than art. Rock engravings 
in Scandinavia. 

Rice fanning. Bronze meullurgy 
replaces copper (Gangctic hordes}. 

Continuation of civic and domestic 
building in baked brick City walls, 
drainage systems. Then return to 
simple mudbrick. 

Continuation of seal engraving, small 
statues, painted pottery. Only the 
last survives the Indus collapse 

Brilliant bronze casting in multi-piece 
moulds. Writing on oracle bones, 
piaographic script. Chariots. Silk 

Rammed earth foundations, timber 
superstructures. Elaborate royal 
shaft tombs. 

Shang an, represented in bronzes, 
especially ritual vessels and jade 

Stone using cultures continue. 
Ponery spreads widely in Mexico, 
Peru and Guatemala. 

First ceremonial centres in Peru. 
Kotosh before 1800. 

Decorated pottery and figurines. 




Although the woman on this sixth century Etruscan 
sarcophagus is dressed in the Greek style, the famihanty 
of the pose reflects the more equal position that \ 
held in Etruscan society. Tirracotta. Cerveten. Italy. 

In our last period the bcninninKs of Western civilization and the 
modern world coincided with the climax and early decline of the 
.incicnt civilizations ot Mesopotamia and Egypt In the live hundred 
extraordinarily eventful years now to be considered the balance was 
I icarly shiftm>; towards the west Although the I igristuphraies valley 
! 1' uised the greatest power of the age, the Assyrian, although Hahylon 
iiioyed a brief revival of wealth and fame, although the Indoturopean 
might of the Persians loomed large towards the age's end, and although 
in the realm (it religious and moral teaching the orient of India and 
China received a new light, the most potent centres of new growth, i it 
new human outlooks, were now in the Mediterranean and were to 
remain there until AD S(X). 

In Palestine and Syria the Hebrews under Solomon had their 
moment ot unity and worldly glory. Their religious growth flowered in 
the great prophets ot the following centuries. The Phoenicians, seizing 
the opportunity offered by the collapse of the Mycenacans and the 
Hebrew subjection of the Philistines, launched their immense sea trade 
and their colonization far to the west. 

In western Asia Minor the Phrygians and then the Lydians created 
the wealth and luxury still conjured up for us by the names of Midas 
and Croesus. 

In the early centuries the Greeks were in their Dark Age, reduced 
to illiteracy and with many refugees moving haphazardly overseas to 
settle the coast and isles of the east Aegean, Only with the eighth 
century came the thriving little cities, the Olympic games (776 BC), 
Homer, and the planned emigrations that established Greek colonies in 
the western Mediterranean and later in Cyrenaica and round the Black 
Sea. There they came into contact with the Scythic nomads of the 
Pontic steppes and helped to inspire their art. 

Equally important, those Greeks who had fled to Ionia only a few 
centuries before now created the "natural philosophy" which took a 
rational view of the world as intelligible to man. It has sometimes been 
baldly stated that the modem world began at Ionian Miletus, the home 
of Thales and his disciples. Here was the intellectual counterpoint to 
the religious morality of the Hebrew prophets. In short, by 500 BC, the 
"Greek miracle" had been worked and all was ready for the classical age. 

Nor was the western Mediterranean any longer outside the historical 
picture, as by now it was already set on the course that was to lead it to 
supremacy with the nse of Rome in our next period. The Phoenicians 
were already lining its shores with literate colonies; after the Assyrians 
weakened the home kingship of Tyre and Sidon, Carthage (tradition- 
ally founded in 814 BC| took the lead in trade and colonization. From 
the mid-eighth century the Greeks became their rivals, making many 
settlements in the south of Italy, Sicily, southern France and eastern 
Spain. These colonies and their contacts with the orient everywhere 
influenced the "barbanan" peoples of their hinterlands. In particular 
the Greeks profoundly affected the culture of the Etruscans in 
central Italy, later that of the Romans and other Italic tribes and the 
Celts. Elements of their civilization were introduced to the west long 
before being spread at second hand through the Roman Empire. 

As everyone knows, Rome was traditionally founded in 753, but 
already before that time the Seven Hills had been settled by sturdy 
Latin shepherds and farmers. In the sixth century it became an Etruscan 
city ruled by the Tarquin kings and although it succeeded at last in 
establishing an independent Republic, at the end of our present period 
it was provincial and impoverished and appeared insignificant. 

In France, Massalia and other Greek settlements traded with the 
Celts and Ligurians, introducing their rulers to some of the luxuries of 
civilization, particulariy wine-drinking. The sumptuous burial of a 

Celtic princess at Vix and the quantities of 
amphorae and fine Greek pottery in the hill 
fort (oppidum) above exemplify the commerce 
that flowed up the Rhone valley and beyond. It 
is probable that this was also the main route by 
which tin from Cornwall and the Loire reached 
the Mediterranean world. 

In Spain tf.e presence of Greek settlements 
on the east coast and Phoenician in the south- 
east and on both sides of the Pillars of Hercules 
(Gibraltar) also had a powerful influence on the 
local peoples. In the east a distinctively Iberian 
culture was emerging, but the most remarkable 
happenings were in the southwest (Andalusia). 
The Phoenicians had founded Gades (Cadiz) as 
early as 800 BC. They came into contact with 
the mysterious kingdom of Tartessus and 
established a port there, probably on the 
Guadalquivir - a place that seemed to the 
Greeks on the edge of the accessible world. 
Thence came the "ships of Tarshish" of the Old 
Testament. The Tartessians developed their 
own shipping and traded with Ireland and 
Brittany; they may well have obtained Cornish 
tin through the Bretons. As trading partners 
with Phoenicians and Carthaginians the 
Tartessians became wealthy and developed a 
cultiue that had many oriental borrowings and 
yet remained their own. 

There is no present evidence to support the 
old view that the Phoenicians themselves went 
to Cornwall. Yet in their marvellous ships they 
certainly explored Atlantic coasts, and we can 
suppose that the citizens of Tartessus and 
Gades welcomed with amazement the 
Phoenician fleet that in about 600 BC sailed 
down the Red Sea and circumnavigated Africa. 

The late Bronze Age Europe which we 
have seen being stimulated by Greeks and 
Phoenicians in Italy, France and Spain was still 
being changed by the spread of those Umfield 
cultures that had begun in our last period 
(p. 122). Originating in central Europe, by some 
admixture of actual migrations and trade 
contacts, they penetrated north Italy and Spain, 
eastern France, the Netherlands, and even just, 
Britain. Everywhere they vastly increased the 
quantity and quality of bronze and the skills of 
the bronzesmiths. Then, from about 700 BC, 
Europe's first iron using culture, the Hallstatt, 
grew out of the Umfield tradition. Once again 
the earliest centres were in centra! Europe. 
With the many branches of the Hallstatt, 
historical flesh is suddenly on archaeological 
bones, for this was the earliest identifiable 
culture of the Celtic peoples. 

Turning to the orient, we find India hardly 
emerging from the dark age following the 
collapse of the Indus civilization and the Indo- 

European incursions of 2000-1000 BC. 
Something of the Indus tradition survived in 
the southwest, yet renewed enterprise was 
greatest in a hitherto neglected region, the 
Ganges-Jumna basin, the land of holy waters 
that was later to be at the heart of Hindu hfe 
and culture. 

Technology was backward. From the 
beginning of the period there were metal tools, 
but they were nearly all of copper and elemen- 
tary in design. But by about 700 BC town life 
was returning, some cities, like Kaushambi on 
the Jumna, having fortifications faced with 
fired brick as in Indus times. Yet against this 
dusty archaeological background as it appears 
to us, the human mind and imagination were 
active. If the Rigveda was aheady composed in 
the previous age, the Upanishads ("secret 
teachings") and Brahmanas may date from the 
middle of our present period, although they 
were not to be written dovra for thousands of 
years. Then, in the last centuries of the sixth 
century, Buddha, the contemporary of Chinese 
Confucius, began his teaching. 

In China we saw how the Shang dynasty 
was ended in 1027 when their Anyang capital 
was destroyed by the Chou, a warhke hierarchy 
apparently coming from the western highlands. 
They, even more than the Shang, were given to 
chariotry, their vehicles being light and more 
elegant and often drawn by four horses in place 
of two. They fought with the bronze halberd, 
composite bow and arrow and later the sword. 
Under the "Son of Heaven" or emperor there 
soon grew up a feudal society with hundreds of 
tiny city-states ruled from the palaces of tyran- 
nical nobles, all bound to the monarch through 
social, military and religious ceremonies and 
obligations. They were an elite indeed, dressing 
in embroidered silks and furs, patronizing 
musicians and scholars and sending their sons 
to schools for the nobility. 

Like many other feudal lords before and 
after them, these men fought, formed larger 
states and reduced the power of the emperor to 
a sham. Already he was hardly more than a 
puppet when in 722 BC a barbarian attack on 
the old capital in Shensi obliged the court to 
move east to Loyang. However, in this period 
southern and northern China were at last 
drawn into the area of civilization. Also the 
feudal states certainly supported some civilized 
ways and individuals. One of the smallest, that 
of Lu in Shantung, patronized Confucius, 
expounder of his notion of "goodness" who, 
like Plato, both founded an academy and tried 
in vain to lead rulers into the way of "right 
government" He was still travelling hopefully 
from state to state at the end of our period. 

It is wonh ii()tin>; the cxtrai)rilinary number of 
great thinkers hving in this sixth century BC 
Travelhn)- westward with the sun, we find 
Confucius and Lao-Tse, founder of T;iofcm; 
the Buddha in India and Zoroaster in Persia, 
Thales, Anaximander and the other natural 
philosophers in Ionia and IVthagoras, the 
mystic mathematician, in Italy Nearly all 
these were alive at the same time and were in 
their various ways striving to relate man to the 
universe not by the old means ot myth and rite, 
but by new modes of intuition, morality and 
reason. How to account for it- The homes of 
the sages were strung out over many thousands 
of miles and most knew little of one another. 

In the Americas the first half of the present 
millennium coincides with the Middle 
Formative or Middle Pre-Classic of archaeology. 
The Olmecs were now unquestionably in the 
van of progress. During the years when 
Solomon was building the Temple at Jerusalem, 
Olmec villagers were coming together and 
labouring to build monumental ceremonial 
centres such as those of San Lorenzo, La Venta 
and Tres Zapotes, and carving the famous "big- 
heads" that were a feature of all three centres. 
On an artificial platform courts, mounds and 
pyramids were laid out with formal precision. 
At La Venta, a small island in the midst of 
swamps, there was a ball court, prototype of the 
renowned courts of Mayan and Aztec times. 
The work that went into the big-heads was 
prodigious: they were carved from single 
blocks of basalt, the largest nine feet high. 
Basalt was also used for stelae with scenes cut 
in relief and for tombs, probably those of high 
priests. The Olmecs made small jade carvings 
and ceramic figurines. They often gave human 

1000- 500 BC 

subjects baby-like features When these were 
combined with fangs and other feline attributes 
of a jaguar cult, the result is most sinister. 

Olmec influence radiated to many parts of 
the country, particularly to the Valley of 
Mexico and toOaxaca The noble ceremcjnial 
centre of Monte Alban, just outside the modem 
town of Oaxaca, was founded c 7(X) BC and two 
hundred years later the first datable 
hieroglyphic in the Americas was set up. 

In South America, although the old fishing 
economy persisted, there was an increased 
dependence on agriculture, including maize 
cultivation. Farming was also extending into 
Amazonian territory From the beginning of the 
period, and therefore simultaneously with the 
Olmecs, the Chavin culture was spreading 
through the highlands and coasts of Peru. In the 
northern highlands, not very far from Kotosh 
was the ceremonial centre of Chavin de 
Huantar. It comprised sunken plazas and 
platform-like buildings with good masoruy 
facings riddled with passages and chambers 
and embellished with sculptures. These show 
a strange assortment of animal features drawn 
from jaguars, condors and snakes. Among them 
are two divinities, a "smiling" god, largely feline, 
and a "staff" god with a rod in either hand. The 
Chavin people advanced weaving, often using 
the backstrap loom in place of twining, and in 
some coastal regions began the great tradition 
of plastic ceramics in the form of human heads 
and animals. As the Chavin culture is so 
distinctive, and occasionally seems to be 
associated with fortifications, it is possible that 
it was introduced by an invading people. 

Meanwhile in North America, too, fresh 
enterprise coincided with the opening of the 

Voyig* vound Mixt 600 

In vessels su 
bireme fouiiu .. _.. 
Assyrian wall relitf die 
Phoenician sailors travelled 
throughout the 
Mediterranean world 

In addition to well-designed 
works in bronze Hallstatt 
artists also produced 
decorative pottery such as 
this earthenware platter 
from Germany. 

Bronze tiger's head mlaid 
with silver, Chou Dynasty. 

first millennium. In the woodland region of the 
southeast, along the Ohio and Mississippi 
valleys, the former hunters and food gatherers 
began to cultivate various plants including 
sunflowers, gourds -and perhaps maize as well. 
They also made simple pottery. Most remark- 
able was a funerary cult which led them to bury 
their dead, sometimes dressed with red ochre, 
in house-like wooden constructions below large 
mounds. They had also taken another step 
forward in human enjoyment: they smoked 
tobacco. Most of their pipes were simple stone 
tubes but a chiefly grave contained one in the 
shape of a man with huge ear-plugs -an 
ornament of the elite. 

Among the technological advances of this 
period the further development and diffusion 
of iron working must be of prime significance. 
In particular its adoption on a large scale by the 
martial Assyrians greatly enhanced the might 
of their invincible armies. Its spread to the west 
took place mainly in this period, being stimu- 
lated in the Mediterranean by Greek and 
Phoenician colonies. In continental Europe it 
was associated, as we have seen, with the 
Hallstatt culture. It was just beginning to reach 
Britain and Scandinavia by 500 BC, though 
principally through imports. The Chinese 
reaction to the metal was characteristic. Iron 
working began under the Chou, probably 
towards the end of our present period, but from 
the first, perhaps thanks to their efficient 
furnaces, the Chinese learnt to cast it, a method 
requiring a very high temperature -and not 
mastered in Europe before mediaeval times. 
Their name for it meant "ugly metal" and it 
may have been for aesthetic reasons that it was 
not adopted by the aristocracy for their 
weapons until the following period. 

The Assyrians were largely responsible for 
other new instruments of war They developed 
the use of cavalry, consisting of mounted 
archers and lancers, as effective in this age as 
the chariotry had been before. It is possible that 
it was the Persians who invented the stirrup 
(they were playing polo by 525 BCj.The most 
ingenious devices of the Assyrians were siege 
engines of various kinds, outstandingly the 
battering rams so often shown in their has 
reliefs. Armoured, wheeled cars with either a 
great metal beak or a swinging ram, they were 
propelled by the soldiers inside against the 
gates or walls of fortified cities (p. 154). 

The Phoenicians were probably in the lead 
in building longships with two banks of rowers 
below deck and with low beaked prows for 
ramming the enemy or shearing off his oars. 

The peaceful arts of trade and communi- 
cation also had their triumphs. We have seen 
how the brilliant idea of alphabetic writing 
was bom in the Levant (p. 114) . By the tenth 
century the Phoenicians had standardized 
their 22 letter (vowelless) alphabet and the 
Hebrews and Aramaeans theirs. Before 800 BC 
the Greeks had adopted and adapted the 
Phoenician alphabet, in comfortable time, it is 
thought, for Homer to be able to write down his 
epics half a century or so later Its further 
transmission to Etruscans and Romans has 
been mentioned. 

The other important advance was the 
invention for trading purposes of true coinage 
to take the place of barter or the many unstan- 
dardized forms of currency. The credit for this 

.4 scene from an Atuc vase shows the Greek hero. Theseus, slaying ihe Minotaur 

woo- 500 BC 

Homer His epics have hud 
undying influence on 
western civilization. 

The Assyrian human- 
headed winged bans which 
served as guardians of 
palace gateways had five 
legs so they could be viewed 
reahstically from all angles. 

goes to the seventh century Lydians. At first 
the stamped coins were of electrum,but 
Croesus produced beautiful gold staters and 
silver shekels. The Greeks introduced coins 
stamped with a guaranteed weight and purity. 
The Greeks quickly embraced the idea and a 
hundred years later their cities were nearly all 
minting their own bronze and silver coinage. 
The practice quickly spread through the 
civilized world. 

hi literature and the visual arts the 
achievements of this great period are so many 
that I cannot do more than name a few of the 
most outstanding. Homer, of course, must come 
first, both for the wonder of his epics and their 
tmdying influence on Greek and all western 
civilization. If Homer had not been at work in 
the mid-eighth century (incorporating many 
memories of the Mycenaean age) Hesiod, one 
generation later, would have appeared a giant. 
With the seventh-sixth centuries came the 
Ionian natural philosophers with their specu- 
lative wntings; further north up the coast of 
Asia Minor the Aeolian poets, greatest among 
them Sappho, were writing poetry more intense 
and more personal than anything attempted 
before. A popular literature of the sixth century 
is represented by the fables of Aesop. 

The only other literature in this period of 
comparable significance for the future was 
that of the Hebrews, much of it incorporated in 
the Christian Bible. The Song of Solomon, 

owing much to the Egyptians, was supposedly 
set down while the Greeks were in their 
illiterate Dark Age. The greatest age was the 
eighth century with Amos, Hosea and Isaiah who 
were all approximate contemporaries of Homer 
Perhaps not many people think of Jeremiah as 
an almost precise contemporary of Sappho. 

In Egypt, Babylon and Assyna literary 
activity was largely dependent on the past, 
more scholarly than creative. Toone stupendous 
effort of this kind we otirselves owe so much 
that it must be chronicled. In the mid-seventh 
centtiry the powerftil Assyrian king, Assurbanipal, 
sent out his learned men and scribes to collect 
and then copy texts from all over Mesopotamia. 
The result of their labotirs, tablets stored in the 
royal library at Nineveh, is the source of much 
of our knowledge of Sumerian and Babylonian 
literature -including the famous discovery of 
the tablets of the Babylonian version of the 
"Flood" story from the Epic of Gilgamesh. 

I have aheady mentioned the oral rehgious 
works in India -the Sanskrit Upanishads and 
Brahmanas. The older parts of the Persian 
Axvesta is of this period, including the Gathos 
of Zoroaster-like Jeremiah, a near contempor- 
ary of Sappho. In China there was the poetry 
anthology of the Book of Songs and at the very 
end of the sixth-early fifth century BC, the 
Chronicles and Narratives of the States of Tso- 
ch'iu Ming and the works of Confucius. 

In the visual arts and architecture this 
present period is overwhelmingly rich. It is also 
highly eclectic. The increasing contacts between 
peoples through trade, travel, war, colonization 
and nomadism, led to influences and borrowings 
between them which were innumerable and 
sometimes hard to disentangle. The Neo- 
Babylonians, Assyrians, Urartians, Phoenicians, 
Greeks, Persians, Scythians and Etruscans were 
all v^athin the web of influences. The Egyptians 
are not included only because while they gave 
much (particularly to the Phoenicians) they 
borrowed httle. Indeed, in this late and troubled 
phase of Egyptian history artists did their best 
to reproduce the styles of earlier times. 

1000-500 BC is the last period in which 
Mesopotamia remains a centre of interest. The 
three capitals of conquering Assyrian kings- 
Nineveh, Nimrud (Calah of the Old Testament) 
and Dur-Sargon (Khorsabad) with their citadels 
crowmed by ziggurat, palaces and temples, were 
cities of great magnificence, rich m monu- 
mental sculpture. The old Babylonian and 
Sumerian inheritance was still with the Assyrian 
artists and builders but clearly modified. The 
most familiar and typical works were the 
colossal, monolithic, human-headed and 
winged bulls and hons that guarded gateways. 

A new dcpiirturc was id line palace rooms and 
passages with thin slabs ot stone with has 
reliefs that were originally painted. Some show 
processions, some narratives ol battles, sieges 
or lion hunts Thev are stitt, impersonal, yet at 
tluir best -outstandingly in their portrayal ot 
animals-the relicts are tullot vigour and a 
kind ol nobility. This school ot sculpture was 
established by the reign ot Assumasirpal in the 
carlv ninth century and maintained through 
the imperial age. Setting it beside Greek dates, 
we see that it began during the Geometric Age 
when there was virtually no monumental 
sculpture or architecture in Greece, spanned 
the life of Homer and ended at about the time 
when the lions of Dclos were being carved. 

After the fall of Assyria and its cities, in the 
sixth century when the orders of classical 
architecture were being established in Greece, 
Babylon had its final and notorious burst of 
splendid extravagance. Nebuchadnezzar 
transformed ancient Babylon, constructing the 
great ceremonial way and Ishtar gate lined with 
friezes of lions, bulls and dragons in carved, 
glazed tiles (p. 158), and rebuilding the temple of 
Marduk which included a large hall lined 
entirely with gold. He also restored the ziggurat 
to eight or nine storeys and some 325 feet 
( 100 ml in height. It was, almost beyond 
question, the original behind the Tower of 
Babel story in Genesis. 

The flowering of Persian art also belongs 
late in this period. From the seventh century 
onwards there survive marvellous gold and 
silver drinking horns and rhyta ending in 
animals, real and fabulous, and vessels with 
pairs of animal handles. (The Greeks were later 
amazed by the rich furnishing of their enemies' 
banquets). These and other early Persian works 
of art and architecture show influence from 
Urartu, but later, as the Persians conquered 
most of the civilized world, they inevitably 
drew styles as well as actual craftsmen from 
their subject peoples. Cyrus the Great, who 
founded the Achaemenid empire in the mid 
sixth century,built a capital at Pasargadac; lu 
gave It Assyrian-style winged bulls at its hu.u^ 
gatehouse and set up a relief image of himself 
wearing a Syrian robe and an Egyptian head- 
dress-a combination that suggests Phoenician 
workmanship. Such was the eclecticism of the 
time! Cyrus' tomb at Pasargadac remains a 
well-known monument. 

When Darius secured the throne in 521 BC 
he soon moved to create two even more famous 
works of monumental art: the rock sculpture 
of Behistun w ith its victory inscription in Old 
Persian, Elamite and Babylonian, and in 517, the 
ceremonial city of Persepohs, vast in scale and 

Cvrus' tomb. I'asaipidae. 

~ KingDanw, shown ill his 

' royal palace at Persepobs 

receiving a high Median 


with a most masterly blending of many styles. 
The relief carvings of delegations from all the 
satrapies of the empire are not only fine and 
full of human detail but make a true historico- 
anthropological exhibit of the peoples, 
costumes and equipment of the time. Persepolis, 
however, was not finished until about 460 BC 
although mucn had been done by the end of 
our present period, and whUe it is proper to 
accept it as yet another marvel of the marvellous 
sixth century, it is discussed in greater detail in 
our next chapter 

The art of the Scyths, whose mercurial 
history was so much involved with that of the 
Medes and Persians, demands attention for its 
individual force and beauty, as well as for its 

lasting influence on the Europeans of our last 
two periods. 

The Scyths were true barbarians in their 
love of personal adornment and as nomads 
lavished their wealth on such display since 
their possessions had to be portable. Although 
they borrowed ideas from many of their 
contemporaries, notably from the Greeks of 
the seventh century and the Achaemenid 
Persians later, their art was distinctive. It is at its 
best in the splendid animal style of golden 
ornaments and vessels. 

Of all the visual arts of 1000-500 BC that of 
the Greeks was, of course, to be the most 
significant. The period began for them in 
simple austerity. When the Phoenicians in 

One of the monumental 
basalt "big-heads" that 
a feature of the Olmec 
ceremonial centres: Vera 
Cruz, Mexico. 



\ ■lUM U^iUi: known iis tlic 
yrnngford Apollo", panan 
■urbk. Anaphe. Greece 

The Apollo of Veil, one oi 
the fifiures which decorated 
the roof of the Etruscan 
Pononacao Temple 

Tyre and Sidon and the Hebrews in Solomtin's 
Jerusalem were livni>; and budding in the Rrand 
oriental tradition and when, tor that matter, the 
Ohnecs were sculininj; their Riant heads,Greek 
art is represented by the sober Ceometrie 
pottery oi Athens, while its architecture was 
still rustic. Then in about 8(X) BC Greeks 
renewed the contacts with the Levant that their 
Mycenaean forebears had known so well and 
durinj; the next two centuries potters and 
bronze workers in manv parts ot the Greek 
world were adapting oriental motits and such 
fantasies as the grit ton to their own ends. By the 
mid seventh century when Assurbanipal was 
filling his library amid all the wealth of 
Nineveh, the artists of Corinth were just 
beginning to find the magic of Greek vase- 
painting. By this time, too, the idea of stone 
colonnades, inspired from Egypt, was just 
beginning and by the end of the century the 
Doric and Ionic orders had been created. 
Progress accelerated and before Babylon fell, 
the Greeks were able to build noble Doric 
temples such as those we know at Corinth and 
Pacstum and Ionic masterpieces such as the 
temple at Ephesus. 

lust as the Greeks took the idea of monu- 
mental stone architecture from the Egyptians 
and transformed it, so, too with sculpture. 
Hitherto they had made only small figures, but 
by about 600 BC they were using their island 
marble to carve the naked youths (kouroi} who 
from the first had more sense of life and 
humanity than their Egyptian models. The 
story of how, during the sixth century, the 
youths assumed the "archaic" smile, were joined 
by the fully clad maidens (kourail and gradually 
came to full life and naturalism is one of the 
most familiar in all art history. By this time, too, 
figure sculpture was animating the pediments 
and metopes of temple architecture. 

At the beginning of the first millennium 
Italy was still part of the prehistoric world of 
Umfield farmers. Although they were skilful 
bronze workers, art did not go much beyond 
handsomely embossed vessels and helmets. 
Then with the coming of Greek settlements 
and trading contacts with the eastern 
Mediterranean the Etruscan civilization was 
quickly kindled and by the seventh century 
Italy was part of the fully civilized world. 

The Etruscans usually built their towns on 
hill tops; almost nothing survives of their early 
architecture, but probably already they were 
walled and gated in good, massive masoruy - as 
they certainly were in our next period. They 
proved poor sculptors in stone, their talent 
bemg for working in bronze and terracotta 
and paint. They were also marvellous gold- 

smiths and lewellers Some would say that 
Etmscan art was hardly more than a branch ot 
the Greek, yet their ponrayal of human beings j 
had an intense sensuousness and nervous | 

energy - the latter also apparent in their 
brilliantly-rendered animals It was at its height 
in the sixth century in such works as the 
famous husband and wite sarcophagus from 
Cerveteri and the Apollo of Veii The preserva 
tion of sixth century tomb paintings, full of 
lively scenes of everyday life, has provided a 
unique addition to our knowledge of 
Mediterranean art 

There is little w add to what has already 
been said about the more westerly part of the 
Mediterranean, except to single out Sardinia 
for the further elaborauon of its mirj,^/ii (p. 159) 
and the naive animation of its little bronze 
figurines. In France and Britain the building of 
oppida or hillforts had begun, but will be more 
fully treated with the flowering of the Celtic 
Iron Age, in our next chapters. In Denmark the 
perfect form of the lur horns (p. 1.56) makes 
them true works of art, while golden bowls, 
bronze helmets, shields and ornaments are full 
of vigour and good craftsmanship. 

In China the bronze vessels of the Chou 
dynasty maintained the high standards and 
most of the regular ritual forms of the Shang, 
though in the seventh century the shapes 
might be over-elaborate as in the famous set of 
vessels from a tomb of Feng Hsiang. 

For the Americas we have only to recall the 
ceremonial centres and marvellous sculpture 
of the Olmecs and the architecture and 
sculptural pottery of the Chavin. 

I must end this account of our present 
period with a summary of the more political 
history of the lands of western Asia and the 
eastern Mediterranean. By this fully literate 
age there are inexhaustible sources of informa- 
tion from the records of the peoples concerned 
- the Hebrew history of the Old Testament is 
the most familiar in western civilization and 
the Assyrian annals perhaps the most reliable. 
One change that can best be mentioned here 
was the success of the Aramaeic language. 
By 1000 BC the incursions of the Aramaean 
Semites from the desert had largely subsided; 
they had established small kingdoms along the 
Euphrates and in Syria and had considerable 
influence in Babylonia. In general they 
absorbed the culture of the civilized peoples 
around them, but their language, written in 
alphabetic script, was adopted through much 
of Mesopotamia. It was spoken by the lews 
from the time of the "Babylonian caprivity" 
and was, of course, to be the language of Jesus. 
It was also adopted by the Persians of the 

147 I 

Achaemenid empire and so became the 
leading diplomatic language - as Akkadian 
had been in the last millennium. 

At the centre of the political history of this 
period were the Assyrians with their appetite 
for conquest. The spearpoint of their ambition 
was, once again, to control the trade of western 
Asia and therefore to subject Syria and the 
Levant. The inevitable response of their 
neighbours was to form alliances (always 
unstable) against them. The configuration of 
peoples and powers around them had changed 
very greatly. Their most immediate opponents 
were regroupings of Hittites and Hurrians. 
Hittite city-states occupied territories from the 
Taurus Mountains down the Euphrates to a 
little beyond their chief city of Carchemish 
and southward even to the north Syrian coast. 
Adjoining the Hittite kingdoms, and Assyria's 
neighbours in the northeast, there was growing 
up the strong mountain kingdom of Urartu, 
centred on the Lake Van region of Turkish 
Armenia. The Urartians were of ancient 
Hurrian stock and may have been reinforced 
after the fall of Mitanni. 

The Urartians were occasionally to be 
allied against the Assyrians with a people living 
to the west of them in Anatolia; the Phrygians. 
They are thought to have been Thracians who 
were forced eastward across the Bosphorus. 
They reoccupied several former Hittite cities, 
including Hattusas itself, and by the eighth 
century kings who seem to have held the 
legendary name of Midas had their capital at 
Gordion. To the south of them there emerged 
the Lydian kingdom, ruled from Sardis, on the 
Pactolus, and owing its "rich as Croesus" 
reputarion largely to the gold found in this 
river. Both Phrygians and Lydians were in turn 
very much involved with the history of the 
Greek refugees who from the end of the second 
millennium had been settling the coast and 
islands of the peninsula: Dorians in the south, 
lonians largely from Athens in the centre and 
Aeolians in the north. (By way of establishing 
links I will recall that Homer was an eighth 
century Aeolian, probably from Chios, that 
Sappho, in c.600 BC sang that she would not 
give her daughter for all the power of Lydia, 
and also took an interest m a fashionable 
headdress worn by the ladies of Sardis.) 

Further north a new and very long lasting 
way of life was emerging on the vast open 
steppe lands stretching from the Hungarian 
Plain to the Gobi deserts. It seems that warlike 
tribes took to horse riding, and having the 
settled pastoralist farmers of the more fertile 
steppes at their mercy, led them into a true 
pastoral nomadism that produced a certain 

uniformity of culture right across the steppes, 
so that the nomads who attacked the Chou 
in China had a chain relationship with the 
Cimmerians and Scyths whom we shall find 
embroiled in our civilized Near Eastern world. 
Nearly all the warrior nomads at this time seem 
to have been of Indo-European stock, and wore 
snug tunics, trousers and felt boots. Even the 
raiders in China were said to have had red hair 
and green eyes! Other Indo-European peoples, 
mountainy men rather than nomads, were the 
Medes and Persians living south of Lake 
Urmia. Before their own imperial days, they 
became a threat to Assyria. 

Beyond the obstacle to their expansion 
made by the Hittites, the Assyrians had to deal 
(after the splitting of Solomon's empire) with 
the tribal kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with 
Ammonites and Moabites, and the rich 
Phoenician cities. Egypt in her dechne inter- 
vened, usually ineffectively, at last provoking 
her own conquest by Assyria. 

Only towards their Babylonian neighbour 
was the policy of the Assyrian kings less 
aggressive. Recognizing their great cultural 
debt to the ancient south and their many 
historical ties, they were usually conciliatory 
of Babylonian pride, though in fact keeping the 
upper hand. From about the eighth century 
Babylonia was sometimes called Chaldea - 
best known from the biblical "Ur of the 
Chaldes". The Chaldeans were a branch of the 
Aramaean Semites who may originally have 
been settled in the extreme south of ancient 
Sumeria, but by the seventh century their kings 
had control of Babylon. Eastward of them the 
irrepressible kingdom of Elam was still 
thriving and was drawn into the Assyrian wars. 

This, then, in roughest outline, is the setting 
in which for the three middle centuries of our 
present period the Assyrians dominated the 
political and military history of the Near East. 
It so happens that in the opening century they 
were in one of their periodic declines, while 
the Egyptians also were weak and taking little 
interest in Asian affairs. So there was no great 
power to prevent David from unifying his 
kingdom and founding Jerusalem on the hill 
from which he had driven the little Canaanite 
tribe of the Jebusites, none to intervene even 
when Solomon extended his rule to the Red 
Sea and the Euphrates and made his capital 
one of the most brilliant and civilized of the 
age. However, it did not need a great power to 
bring about the collapse of so much promise. 
Tribal envy of the power of Judah, armed by 
religious disapproval of the oriental extrava- 
gance and idolatry of the court, split the 
kingdom into Israel and Judah soon after 

Solomon's death in 933 BC It was only a little 
later that E>;ypt, led hy a more vigorous, if 
usurping, Lihvan pharaoh, Shoshenk (biblicdi 
Shishakl raided lerusalem and carried ott the 
neh temple treasure, including the golden 
shields ot Solomon. 

Thereafter the Hebrew kingdoms were 
caught up in the endless lighting and rivalry 
chronicled in the book ot Kiwis It can at least 
be said that Egvpt, Assyria and Babylon 
hilhlled the worst monitions ot the prophets 

With the ninth century the Assyrians were 
regaining their strength and building their 
armv into the splendidly equipped, ruthlessly 
directed machine that made their name terrible 
to all within its reach Assumasirpal (883-859 
BC) was the first king whose conquests sur- 
passed those ot Tiglathnieser in our last 
penod. It has been said by a learned admirer of 
the Assynans that "his track was marked by 
impalements, by pyramids of human heads and 
by other barbarities too horrible to be 
described. " He won booty and tribute from 
Kurds and Urartians in the mountains, from 
the Hittite and Aramaean kingdoms of Syria 
and from Phoenicia he forced the Babylonians 
to sue for peace. With some of the treasure he 
built a great citadel and palace at Nimrud 
iCalahl and for the housewarming claimed to 
have feasted fifty thousand people, among 
them many foreign potentates, for ten days, 
providing some 18,(X)0 cattle and sheep, 
35,000 birds of many kinds and vast quantities 
of wine and beer That was the Assyrian style. 
Just as Solomon had employed Phoenician 
craftsmen on his temple, so too did Assum- 
asirpal and his son Shalmaneser III. I have 
myself seen exquisite ivories, carved by them 
in the Egyptian manner, lifted from the dust 
of fallen Nimrud 

This son, Shalmaneser, who reigned for 
thirty-five years, was as tireless a campaigner as 
his father, panicularly against the Urartians, 
who were now organizing resistance in the 
north, where he sacked the royal city, piled up 
the heads of its defenders, burnt many villages 
and then went to Lake Van where, as he said, 
"I washed my weapons in the sea and offered 
sacrifices to my gods" Shalmaneser also tought 
much in the west against a confederation ot the 
kings ot Syna and Palestine. Ahab, king ot 
Israel, was among those whom he defeated at 
the battle ot Karkar Ahab, it will be 
remembered, had married a princess of Sidon, 
Jezebel, a marriage that brought him wealth 
but also the condemnation of Elijah. Although 
he himself remained with Yahweh, he built a 
temple of Phoenician Baal for his wife. Later, 
lehu of Israel is among those recorded to have 

brought Shalmaneser a great tribute of gold 
and silver vessels 

A.ssurnasirpal and his son had raised the 
first Assyrian empire to its height, but they 
tought lor wealth and general domination, 
making no attempt to establish any permanent 
control over their victims This was changed 
when in ^45 BC, after civil strite and a revolt 
by the army, a military adventurer took the 
throne. His name was I'ul (as it remains in the 
Old Testament) but this near contemporary ot 
Homer assumed the name of Tiglath-I'ilescr 
and set about establishing an empire as wide as 
that of his namesake What was new was his 
unification of the Second Empire under a 

A relief of Kjnj? Sargon II 
found at the royal palace. 
Khor.uihod. Mevtpoiumi > 

1000- 500 BC 



Ivory from Nuniud. Nubh. 
with orynx. monkey and c 
leopard skm. 

central government. Conquered lands were 
put under governors and forced to pay a fixed 
tribute. Rebellion was punished by ferocious 
means that included the deportation of peoples 
to distant parts of the realm. 

Tiglath-Pileser fulfilled his ambitions, 
crushing resistance north, south and west. Of 
his exploits in .he west, he is probably best 
remembered for his dealings with Ahaz, king 
of Judah, who offered treasure and his own 
submission in exchange for help against his 
enemy of Israel and those leagued with him. 
The greatest of the prophets, Isaiah, denounced 
this lack of trust in the Lord. Some years later, 
in the reign of Sargon (722-705 BC), Israel was 
finally destroyed and Judah left alone to 
maintain the worship of Yahweh. 

Stability was never attained; fresh revolts 
and new alliances against the Assyrians meant 
almost perpetual warfare. Sargon (he had given 
himself this ancient Akkadian name) in 
addition to all the old enemies had to cope with 
Elam, with an ambitious Chaldean usurper in 
Babylon and wath Egypt's ineffectual encour- 
agement of Palestinian rebels. It was in his 
time, too, that nomad peoples began to impinge 
on western Asia. The Cimmerians, who had 
ruled north of the Caucasus, seem to have been 
pushed southward and having annexed 
northern Urartu, joined the Urartians against 
Sargon. The Scythians moved into their old 
territory and a few decades later were to drive 
the Cimmerians into their famous invasion of 
Asia Minor. Sargon also had dealings, some- 
times friendly but more often hostile, with the 
Medes and Persians (Maddai and Parsua) now 
established southeast of the Caspian and 
thrusting into the Zagros. 

The second Assyrian Empire approached its 
peak under Esarhaddon, who won the throne 
in 681 BC. He was a brilliant soldier but also a 
statesman prepared to follow conquest by 
conciliation. One of his first acts was to restore 
Babylon which (against traditional policy) had 
been wantonly destroyed by his father, 
Sennacherib. Again, after having to face an 
alliance of Medes and Cimmerians, he made a 
solemn pact with the Medes, exacting a 
promise that they would be loyal not only to 
himself, but to his son Assurbanipal after him. 
He also tried to seal a pact with the Scyths by 
marrying one of his daughters to their king. 

Esarhaddon's most spectacular achieve- 
ment was his conquest of Egypt. At this time 
the Nile was being ruled by a Nubian dynasty, 
the princes of Kush having grovm stronger as 
the pharaohs weakened, until they themselves 
were able to take the double crown. The 
Assyrian's campaign against Egypt culminated 

in 671 when Memphis fell, the Nubian 
pharaoh fled and the new province was divided 
into satrapies. It was to be held for only fifteen 
years, but before its liberation by 
Psammetichus, a prince of Sais, Assumasirpal 
had attacked Thebes and carried off much 
booty, including two obelisks - the first of 
many instances of these weighty monuments 
serving as trophies of war 

Under the Saite Dynasty XXVI Egypt had a 
brief interval of independence and prosperity, 
with Greek and Lydian mercenaries to control 
the Libyans and both Greeks and Phoenicians 
to develop Mediterranean trade. The second 
pharaoh, Necho, began to cut a canal from the 
Nile to the Red Sea and he commissioned the 
Phoenicians to circumnavigate Africa. 

As for the Assyrians, Assurbanipal, having 
conquered Elam and brought its kings to drag 
his chariot through the streets of Nineveh, felt 
secure enough to leave the battlefield to his 
generals and make himself a patron of learning. 
Yet well before his death, and faster still under 
his two inadequate successors, the empire was 
disintegrating. Egypt's breakaway was followed 
by that of Babylon, when Nabopalassar won 
the kingdom with the support of the Chaldeans. 

The most positive threat was from the 
Medes, now a powerful people led by ambitious 
kings. The Persians, too, were growing stronger 
under the Achaemenid family, but for the time 
were subject to the Medes. The Scythic horde 
meanwhile was active in western Iran and were 
in erratic support of Assyria. If it had not been 
for them the Medes might have struck sooner 
As it was, once the Medes had allied them- 
selves with Nabopalassar of Babylon, Assyria's 
position was hopeless. In 614 BC, the allies 
sacked Assur and Nimrud and two years later 
destroyed Nineveh, mightiest city in the world, 
and killed the Assyrian king. I cannot resist 
quoting from the biblical Vision of Nahum (the 
prophet may have lived near Nineveh) whose 
account of the fall of the city can speak for 
many other sackings in that bloody age. 

Woe to the bloody city! 

It IS full of lies and robbery . . . 

The noise of a whip and the noise of ratthng 

And of the prancing horses, and of leaping 

The horseman lifteth up the bright sword 
and the glittering spear. 

And there is a multitude of slain . . . 

They stumble upon their corpses. 
Breaking off to look further west, it was 
during the reigns of Esarhaddon and 
Assurbanipal that the Cimmerian nomads 
ravaged Anatolia. Having been originally 


c -:,..• jt known 
. • HcdTCT' isan 
■titi^ure which 
1 the Acropohs in 

dislodged bv the Scyths niiinv rovle westw.ird 
from Uranu and had descended on the 
prt)sperous kinxdom or I'hrvKia by about 
680 BC It was after they had taken the capital 
ot Gordion that, according to tradition, King 
Midas killed himseU by drinking bull's blood. 
Phrygian power crumbled and never recovered 

The Cimmenans loined up with an 
invading Thracian people to assault the 
Lydians in the west-at that time ruled by 
Gyges and dominating the Ionian Greeks of 
the coast When Gyges appealed to 
Assurbanipal tor aid he can hardly have 
expected it to come since he had encouraged 
Psammetichus to expel the Assyrians from 
Egypt. The Cimmerians defeated and slew 
Gyges in battle and a little later Sardis was 
sacked. The Cimmerians went on to harry the 
Ionians,even destroying the sanctuary of 
Artemis in Ephcsus. Ionian society with its 
refinement and intellect appeared to be in 
grave danger, but happily the Cimmerian horde 
began to break up and by about 640 BC the 
nomad threat had passed. 

However, the Ionian cities were not left in 
peace (or rather to their own wars), for the 
Lydians recovered their force and the descend- 
ants of Gyges were as hostile to the Greeks as 
he had been. Alvattes, one of the most 
aggressive, regularly harassed Miletus until he 
was drawn eastward to repel the Medes. In 
585 BC, after years of fighting, an echpse of the 
sun coincided with a major battle. Lydians and 
Medes thought they must make peace and 
drew the boundary' between them on the Halys 
River where their armies stood. This was the 
eclipse said to have been forecast by Thales of 
Miletus. Alvattes, whose parents had been a 
royal brother and sister had Croesus by one of 
his several wives, a native Carian woman. 
There could hardly be rwo men more 
unlike than Alyattes the Lydian and his 
approximate contemporary in mainland 
Greece, Solon of Athens. The wise law-giver 
did much for the humbler citizens through 
land reforms and by admitting landless men to 
the Assembly as well as ending debt-slavery. 
Although he left power firmly in the hands of 
the upper class, he is judged to have taken a 
decisive step towards the Athenian democracy 
of our next period. After passing his laws in the 
later SPCs, Solon set out for ten years of 
travelling through the Near East. The famous 
story that he visited Croesus at Sardis and 
warned him that no man should be counted 
happy imtil he is dead is, alas, impossible since 
Croesus became king of Lydia only in 560 BC. 
There is every reason to suppxise, however, that 
Solon would have included Babylon in his 

grand tour and witnessed the rebuilding of the 
city by Nebuchadnezzar, who had succeeded 
his father Nabopalassar in 605 BC. 

After the fall of Ninc'veh the Babylons had 
annexed most of Assyria, leaving the north in 
the hands of the Medes The wealth of 
Babylon depended very largely on trade, and 
here she was handicapped by the Median 
presence. Nebuchadnezzar knew that he must 
hold Syria and Palestine against the Egyptian 
king Necho, who was campaigning there. He 
early defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish, 
but they continued to egg on the kings of 
)udah,and the Babylonians captured ferusalem 
on three occasions (fulfilling the prophecies of 
Jeremiah) on the last destroying the city and 
transporting many of the rebellious lews to 
Mesopotamia Hence the "Babylonian 
Captivity that was to bequeath to Chnstendom 
the image of the Whore of Babylon. 

Nebuchadnezzar's death was followed by 
civil war and assassinations, but Babylonia wa-- 
to enjoy one last burst of glory under 
Nabonidas. Yet, as is well known, the writing 
was on the wall. The Persians, hitherto subject 
to the Medes, now rose against them under 
Cyrus II and overwhelmed them at Pasargadae 
Nabonidas naturally sided with the Persians. 

Croesus, now at the height of his power and 
arrogance and ruling most of Anatolia, sought 
an oracle at Delphi and from it learned that if 
he marched against Cyrus "he would destroy 
a great empire!' The empire, of course (with a 
typical Delphic twist) proved to be his own. 
Sardis was captiu-ed by the Persians (c.547) and 
tradition tells that the captive Croesus was 
already at the stake to be burnt alive when 
Cyrus reprieved him. 

Whether or not he saved the Lydian, Cyrus 
was now free to turn against his ally, 
Nabonidas. Babylon had inherited the 
unpopularity as well as the nches of Assyria, 
and Isaiah's view that Cyrus was the "Chosen 
of the Lord" was not limited to the Jews, but was ! 
probably shared by many dissidents at home. 
Nabonidas's forces lost the battle of Opis and 
when Cyrus marched on to Babylon the gates 
were thrown open before him. This was in 
539 BC. Almost at once the Jews (and other 
captive peoples) were freed to return to their 
own lands. 

Babylonia, and soon after, Egypt, became 
satrapies of the Achaemenid empire. So with 
the end of our present period there also ended 
the long and often splendid history of the two 
founders of civilization as independent great 
powers. The acts of Darius in crushing the 
Ionian Greeks that led to further embroilment 
with Athens belong to our next chapter 

Technology 1000 - 500 BC 

The upheavals and displacement of peoples in 
the second millennium meant that iron 
working techniques were no longer limited to 
Anatolia but were transmitted to a far wider 
area. By 1000 BC, after a slow start, the tech- 
niques of working were producing a metal at 
least as good as bronze and within 500 years 
iron had largely displaced bronze for practical 
purposes from the Atlantic to the China Sea. 

The superior hardness of iron was actually 
of much less significance than its commonness. 
While copper and tin were scarce, iron ore was 
plentifully distributed through most of the 
world. Bronze was a prerogative of the rich and 
powerful, primarily for weapons and display: 
iron was available to anyone cheaply enough 
for fashioning the simplest tools and agricul- 
tural implements. Moreover, in an age of 
conflict as this period was, iron weaponry was 
superior not only to bronze, but stone as well. 
The military might of Assyria owed as much to 
armoured wagons, grappling irons, wheeled 
siege towers and heavier chariots as it did to 
advanced military tactics. 

While knowledge of the new metal was 
spreading, craftsmanship in the old was not 
standing still. The copper mines of Austria were 
delving ever deeper and more efficiently and 
the Late Bronze Age in Europe saw a massive 
increase in both quantity and quality of bronze 
goods. The quantity is shown by the appearance 
of large hoards of scrap metal, the reprocessing 
of which now became an industrial under- 
taking. In quality, swords, cauldrons and 
musical horns were added to the stock in trade 
of axes, knives and pins. 

This period also saw the spread of writing. 
With an alphabetic system, writing could now 
be acquired by anyone in a few weeks instead 
of over many years. Related to this spread of 
writing and triggered by the same stimulus - 
trade - was the invention and rapid diffusion 
of minted money. When the seventh-century 
Lydians introduced true coinage, it was quickly 
and widely adopted as its advantages for 
international commerce were recognized. 

The mastery of shipbuilding was largely 
responsible for the great increase in trade and 
the spread of cultural influences. While the 
Phoenicians were probably first in the 
production of long boats or galleys the Greeks 
constructed penteconters with a crew of 50. 
Moreover, seafaring was greatly enhanced by 
the work of two Greeks; Thales, who 
researched into navigation by the stars, and 
Anaximander, who produced what is alleged to 
be the first map of the world. 


The Americas 

Elaborate painted pottery was 
produced by stable agrimltura 
populations. Wild animals 
however, were still hunted tor 
a large part of the food supply 
with flint projectiles. The 
Ciipisnique macehead hints at 
warfare as well as hunting 



J Egvpt 

Eastern Mediterranean 
Western Mediterranean 
Continental Europe 

Western Medil 

Italy became a great metal 
working area, both in bronze 
and iron under the Villanovans 
and their successors, the 
Etruscans. Domestic items 
such as the cauldron, chair, 
razor and candelabrum were 
produced in addition to such 
military hardware as the 
armour and sword. The horse 
bit and model cart show the 
increasing reliance on draught 
animals for transport 

Stone Copper 

Contincnul Europe 

Bronrc working riachcd a new 
peak, despite iht intrdduction 
ot iron Complicated castings 
like the illustrated axe and 
sheetwork like the helmet and 
lur imusical horn' were well 
within the nKi.iUmiths' capa- 
bilities Occasional tindsot 
boats or sledges in bogs show 
accomplished carpentry. 

Eastern Meditciranean 

Trade was responsible for most 
ol the area's technological 
advance such as the galley and 
the first coinage The purple 
dye extracted from the Murex 
shell, olive oil from an 
improved press and fine meul 
work supplied foreign as well as 
local markets 

tr?^M=t4J-I.I.JlJI Ujj;^ 

Far Eatt 

rhe dagger and mask show the 
continuing skill in bronze 
casting The composite bow 
by using a combination ol 
wood and bone produced a 
weapon superior to earlier 
wooden ones 

> iJ. 

9^ M 

Ih,!,,,,, ^ -ti ~S»^ 


Wood and meul were widely 
employed for tools such as the 
sickle, axe and chisel Astrono- 
mical observations were 
accomplished by observing 
surs moving across a plumb- 
line through a slit in the palm- 
leaf nierkhet 


The area was dominated by a 
warlike Assyria which 
depended on mounted cavalry 
and elaborate siege machinery 
as well as chariots Domestic 
items such as the lamp, scales 
and table were also produced. 


While India was returning to a 
higher level of civilization the 
halberd blade indicates that 
comparatively little in the way 
of material progress can be 
showm. The region of Luristan 
however was still a highly 
skilled bronze working centre 
as shown by the cheek piece, 
sword and horse bit. 


High quality iron weapons 
arid the improvement of 
military tactics made the 
Assyrians almost invincible 
on the battlefield. The 
wheeled siege machine was 
a potent weapon against 
any enemy city. The sides 

would have been clad with 
hide<; to give protection to 
its "crewr" - archers and 
javehn throwers on its 
tower, sappers to direct its 
ram against gate or wall, 
and large numbers of rank 
and file to push it into the 
attack. Cavalry was a new 

development, as horses 
were bred large enough and 
strong enough to carry an 
armed man. Though less 
heavily armed than 
chariots, they were much 
more rapid and more 
manoeuvrable. Bows and 
spears were carried. 

chuck. jIuhMcrpLuincNiucvch 


Under foreign conquerors 
Egypt did not progress 
technologically Even 
earher it had relied on the 
deployment of vast 

i of forced labour 
during the annual inunda- 
tion of the Nile and the 
backing of its wealth in 
gold. The Pharaoh Necho 
about 600 BC com- 

missioned the cutting of a 
canal to join the Nile and 
the Red Sea, but this was 
not completed until after 
the Persian conquest of 
525 BC. 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The Greek galley, 
structed from a number o 
representations on painted 
vases, was between 35 and 
40feet|10- -12m|long 
vrith a ram bow for offen- 
sive purposes. It had a crew 
of 26 rowers and steering 
was by means of an oar 
hung over the starboard 
(steer-board) quarter. While 
both oars and sails were 
used oars were preferred 
for naval vessels because of 
wind unrehability On land, 
soldiers depended on 
weapons and tactics to 
carry the day. The crested 
helmet of bronze, with its 
protective cheek-pieces, 
would have been standard 
equipment. Its leather 

ning would have given the 
strength, sheet bronze itself 
offering little real resistance 

sword or spear 
The minting of coins from 
the 7th century on greatly 
eased trading transactions 
Each city struck its own 
series of fine coins in silver, 
gold, or later bronze. 

ATHENS Coins had a 
guaranteed weight and 
purity and were stampc J 
with the issuing 
authnntv s mark 


Western Meditcnanean 

Both the native Villjnuvjn» 
and immi)(rant Etruscans 
produced elaborate and 
accomplished metal goods 
The tourwhcclcd cauldron 
cart with its pendant- 
decorated cenual bronze 
bowlol Etruscan manu- 
facture reflects onental 
mfluenccs in its design, the 
a-sult ol Phoenician trade 
A wheeled lavcr is 
mentioned as one ot the 
htungs in Solomon s 
temple The candelabrum 
IS more Greek in character, 
trade with that arca being 
equally active The sheet 
metal work of the 
VUlanovans shouTi in the 
crested helmet and corslet 
may indicate a dittusion ot 
techtuques from beyond 
the Alps but they are 
dearly more local in their 
design Helmets were 
frequently employed as lids 
for funerary urns. 

Vilhmovan crested helmet 
and corsJet 

Continental Europe 

The bronze axe with its 
mounted wamor from 
Hallsutt was used as a 

sutus symbol It reflects 


the wealth pouring into this 
Austrian area in exchange 
for its salt and bronze. The 
homed and crested helmet 

from Vixo in Denmark 

Bronze t^ble amdelabmm 

was also probably used for 
ceremonial purposes. Its 
design was meant to be 
awc-inspinng but it was 

too unwieldy for battle 


I he bronze workcrii of 
Lunstan continued to turn 
out their atitractivc metal 
work in the lo!>t wax 
technique Horschit.% were 
charactcri.slic of the use ni 
bronze after the introdui. 
lion of iron although onK 
the wealthy could af for J ' 

nainuin horses 





Hor.te biu. Lunstan. Iran 



Far East 

The composite bow 
combined slips of wood as 
well as bone When a cast 
bronze grip and a lacquered 
finish were added a more 
effective weapon was 
produced. The way in 
which the bow bends back 
on Itself when unstrung 
shows clearly the strength 
of the tension in it, even 
before the string was 

Strung composite bow. China 

Unstrung bow. China 

Homed helmet. Vixo. Deamark 

The Americas 

The knobbed macchead 
comes from Cupisnique, a 
branch of coasul Chavin 
in northern Peru Much 
skill was necessary to carve 
the stone into such a 
difficult shape, which was 
no doubt a useful one for 

Knobbed macehead. 
Cupisnique. Peru 

woo- 500 BC 

Architecture 1000 -500 BC 

The Assyrians of the first millennium, 
supported by the wealth, prestige and drive of 
their military conquests, built walled cities of 
great magnificence along the middle Tigris. 
The main buildings included palaces, temples 
and ziggurats whose chief decoration was in 
the form of highly ornamental bas reliefs. 
Further south in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar 
enlarged Hammurabi's city and used coloured 
glazed brickwork with figured designs to great 
effect. The highly decorated gateways, 
towering walls and hanging gardens combined 
to make Babylon one of the wonders of the 
ancient world. 

The Persians, first at Parsagadae and later 
at Persepolis, also had carved stone motifs as 
their principal form of exterior decoration 
along with polychrome brickwork and relief 
slabs as in Mesopotamia. 

In Egypt, Turkey and Syria, earlier styles 
of architecture persisted although the 
Phoenician style strongly influenced the 
Great Temple in Jerusalem. 

Westward from the Aegean, however, this 
period saw the transformation of the king's 
megaton into the god's temple, the most 
notable advance being the addition of 
colonnades. In Greece, the introduction of 
stone in the sixth century to an essentially 
timber architecture encouraged the growth of 
"orders" - and the Doric was closely followed 
by the Ionic and in the next century by the 
more decorative Corinthian. Mural paintings, 
mouldings and statuary were effectively used 
to ornament one of the world's best knowTi 
architectural fonns - the Greek temple. 

Further west the Etruscans were building 
their individual earth-covered tombs and the 
Sardinian nuraghe was further elaborated. 
Rome at this time was simply a provincial tovra. 

In Europe, warring tribes and petty 
kingdoms depended on hillforts - earth and 
timber ramparts - for protection of their 

While little evidence remains of architec- 
tural developments in the Far East and India, 
monumental ceremonial centres containing 
platform mounds, pyramids and temples were 
built both in Mesoamerica by the Olmecs and 
in Peru by Chavin peoples. In addition to an 
early ball court at La Venta, relief-decorated 
stelae and ornate tombs were found in many 
of these centres. In North America, burial 
mounds containing wooden house-like 
constructions were also being built. 

The Americas 

Temples in mudbrick or stone, 
frequently raised on massive 
platforms or pyramids were 
built in both Peru and Mexico. 
At La Venta a ceremonial 
centre served the religious and 
political needs of a far-flung 



Continental Europe 

] Far East 

The Americas 

Western Mediterranean 

Greek temples are well 
represented in the colonies 
around southern Italy and 
Sicily while the Etruscans 
produced local \ 
oriental tomb archit 
More primitive structures such 
as the Sardinian nuraghi and 
the Minorcan taulas continued 
earlier traditions 

Loniincnul Europe 
\<.i>|<iii .1 
ilclvnMVc 51U- sutroiiiuli-il h 
\vj«cr. >crvcd to prmLCl smw 
^p<ipiil.ilions. Other 
!tltimnt>wi-r>. iu>i su 
ihiir.itclv ilctciulcJ, like tl: 
A 1" lUcn t jmislcaj ot Little 

pr s^ 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The mcKaron, typihed by the 
hliiiMs model, developed into 
more Miphi^iicated structures 
1 he lirst of the cKissical Greek 
temples was built by ilX) BC 
I'hoenitiaii architecture was 
closely copied in Solomon's 
temple at Jerusalem. 

Kar tail 

The sundial stone monuments 
ol lapan first built in this 
period have survived but little 
remains of the earth and limber 
palaces and temples which also 
must have been constructed. 



With political decline, 
architecture made no progre 
through this period. 



White limestone was used tor 
Cyrus' imperial buildings at 
I'arsagadae as well as for his 
tomb located nearby Though 
India was regaining civiliz- 
ation, decayed city walls are all 
that is left from this period. 



Great administrative palaces 
were typical by Assyrian times 
and ziggurats still continued 
to be built Both Babylon and 
the late Hittite city of Zincerli 
were fortified by defensive 


Sargon ll's capital at 
Khorsabad, built around 
7 10 BC was contained 
within an area of one square 
mile and was surrounded 
by a double fortification 
wall. Besides the domestic 
quarters the palace included 
administrative halls, 
temples and a ziggurat Wall 
rebels and the human- 
headed winged buUs were 
carved in stone although 
the main structure was 
mudbrick. Babylon's 
construction required 
less use of stone. The facing 
of brightly coloured glazed 
bricks applied to the great 
Ishtar Gate and Sacred Way 
completely masked the 
mudbiiLk I mst 


The Saite dynasty, 664- 
525 BC, attempted to halt 
this region's decline by 
reviving past architectural 
glories, but with no success. 


Eastern Mediterranean 

Solomon's temple at 
Jerusalem was built to a 
Phoenician pattern. It was 
constructed of stone blocks 
laid without cement. The 
narrow box-like structure 
enclosed an anteroom, 
main hall and a "holy of 
holies" Cedar wood was 
used to panel the walls. 
Inside the "holy of holies" 
two olive wood gold-inlaid 
sphinxes 17 ft. (5 m) high 
guarded the Ark of the 
Covenant in which the Ten 
Commandments were kept. 
A flight of 10 steps led up to 
the temple, the doorway of 
which was flanked by two 
bronze columns. The 
early temples of the Greeks 
originated in the megaton 
(a rectangular hall with 
pillared porch at one endl 
Pillars were later added to 
the other end, then to the 
sides. A single gable ran the 
length of the roof. Much 
care went into perfecting 
the proponions of the 
temple and of the individ- 
ual pillars - diameter to 
height, to capital, to the 
shaft swelhng (entasis), 
to the upward curve of the 
steps - which combined to 
give the appearance of great 
strength and beauty. It was 
when stone replaced wood 
that Greek "orders" arose 
with their distinctive 
columns and entablature. 
The mature Doric of the 
early 6th C. was joined by 
the later Ionic and in the 
5th C. by the Corinthian. 
The Temple of Artemis, 
Corfu, was a typical Doric 
temple v^^th internal 
colonnades supportmg the 
roof timbers. One pedi- 
ment of the temple 
contained a large relief 
showing an immense 
snake-haired Gorgon in 
the act of fleeing. At the 
ends of the pediment are 
scenes of combat. The 
associated columns had a 
height of between five and 
SIX times their diameter 
and the shaft was tapered 
and made to bulge slightly 
on top to offset the illusion 
of an inward curve. The 
Ionic column from the 
Temple of Artemis, 
Ephesus, was around nine 
times taller than its lower 
diameter and had at least 40 
flutes separated by fillets. 
A square phnth was placed 
beneath the column 

Ionic column from u 
of Artemis, Ephesus 

iri-yyii'ii'm im 'mw. 





Temple of Ancmis.Cnrfu 

Solomon's temple, lenualem. 

W»lcrn McJi 

S<imcc4rlv Sardinun 
uraKhi wire LilcrconMilcr 
'IvctiLirxL-d .Hid 
ihoraiid I he crntral 
wcr jt Orrubiu, contjun- 
umhcr raised in 

cvclopcdn md!ionrv (larxc 
and unc(>ur!tcd hiticks 
withuut miirtarl wa» sur- 
rounded by five inter- 
ti>nneetedtiiwers Other 
uutcr towers were built 
still Ijtcr and hnkcd with a 
eiinain wall 

^ ontincnul Europe 
iic island village of 
Hl^kupln contained long 
rows of houses built of oak 
ind pine with thatched 

was surrounded by an 
earthen rampart reinforced 
by wood with timber 
gateways The island was 
loincd to the mainland by 

Village of Riskupin. Poland 


; he tomb of Cyrus at 

asargadae |sec page 1451 

lb modest in appearance. 

The tomb is a box-like 

gabled monument 10* ft 

Far East 

Little remains of timber 
buildings constructed 
during this time m the Far 
East "Sundial" structures 
found in [apan may be 
funerary rather than 
astronomical or ritual in 
nature. One such structure 

The Americas 

The "pyramid" at Cuicuilco 
is a circular structure of 
four tiers of stone-faced 
rubble and sand. Two 
ramps gave access to the 

19.3 m) by 7! ft (2.3 m) and 
is made of limestone. It 
was placed on a six-stepped 
platform. A carved 
guardian angel is still visible 
on a doorway to the comb. 

found at Nonakado is a 15 
foot |4 5 ml high menhir in 
the cenue of a radially 
paved area Together with a 
number of simpler struc- 
tures It stands within an 
oval enclosure marked out 
by cobbling. (The menhir is 
illustrated on p. 157.). 

; which had a red- 
painted clay altar most 
likely topped by a thatched 
roof. It is 374 feet 1 1 15 m) in 
diameter and still 75 feet 
(23 m) high. 


Alt 1000- 500 BC 

The oldest centres of art in the Near East were 
now losing their force. Babylonian kings set 
up stelae deliberately imitating those of 3000 - 
2000 BC, while in Egypt sculptors produced 
some quite good work in the manner of the Old 
and Middle Kingdoms. 

The exception to the dying down of energy 
in these lands is provided by the conquering 
Assyrians. From the ninth century as part of 
the glorification of their capital cities they 
placed huge fabulous beasts at their gates and 
lined walls with carved and painted reliefs. 

In the Levant the Phoenicians had gifted 
artist-craftspeople who usually worked in an 
eclectic style. Some of their finest ivory casting 
has been found at Nineveh; they supplied 
craftsmen to Solomon for his temple at 
Jerusalem - but hardly a trace survives. 

By far the most significant centre of new 
hfe in the arts was, of course, in Greece, and 
above all in Athens. With the seventh century 
the miracle began. Renewed contact with the 
east brought in oriental motifs, and Corinth 
came to the fore with fine if still imperfect 
figure and decorative painting on ceramics. 
Then after 600 BC the sculptors evolved 
those famous figures of youths and maidens 
with their dawning archaic "smile", and in 
the ceramic art Athens created the exquisite 
art of the black figure vase painting. Much 
space has been given to the painted pottery of 
simple peoples, but there had never before been 
anything like this: the perfection of the formal 
motifs, the grace and humanity of the 
mythological scenes that come to us like 
illustrations from a book. By the end of the 
period figure sculpture as well as ornamental 
detail was allied with architecture. 

Greek influence was widespread and 
helped to inspire further creativity most 
successfully among Etruscans, Scyths and 
ultimately Persians and Celts. While the 
Etruscans imitated Greek art, they adapted it to 
their own less moderate spirit. Their burial 
customs assured the survival of wall paintings. 
The Scyths were far less Greek dominated, 
their animal art in gold and silver owing much 
to their south Russian inheritance. 

hi the China of the Chou dynasty the 
output of ritual bronze vessels and jade 
carving was maintained but without much 
innovation. On the other hand in Mesoamerica 
higher civilization dawned at last among the 
Olmecs, creators of the famous "big heads" and 
other sculpture. In Peru the promise of things 
to come was already evident in the painted, 
sculptural Chavin ceramics. 

The Americas 

As well js their famous 
"big heads" the Olmec 
sculptors made striking 
statuettes, sometimes in jade. 
In Peru the potters of the 
Chavin culture produced fine 
ceramics, now including 
human and animal shapes. In 
the ceremonial centre of 
Chavin de Huantar were relief 
sculptures portraying divinities. 

I ■-: . fi| IhuJntlnill ' 


Western Mediterranean 

The Iron Age peoples of Italy, 
with moderate skills in potting 
and small bronze figure work, 
after Greek and oriental 
contacts evolved the civilized 
art of the Etruscans. 
Phoenicians, Carthaginians and 
Greeks spread minor civilized 
arts through their many 
colonies. Quaint bronze 
figurines distinguished 


Coniinenul Europe 

rhc Uu- Briinzc Ajtc Iron Axi 
■•biirbjnjn>" ot Britjin and 
Europe dcvclopcJ iheir bronze 
work jnJ prtHJuccJ iotnc 
cluborjit It primuivi- rolinious 
hRurc work In IX-nmark then- 
was jlM)t;iH»ldcciir.itivc work 
in bronze and koIJ, includinK 
the tine hir horns The nomad 
Scyihs ol south Russia 
designed superb stylized 
.otten inRoM 

Eastern Meditenanc<n 

t'hocnician and Syrian artisi 
craftspeople, especially ivory 
carvers, otten worked in the 
ERvptian manner The Greeks 
emerged from their Dark Age 
to create their (ine archaic 
sutuary, their Connthian 
pottery followed by the black 
tigure vase painting ot 6th 
century Athens and Sparta 
Sculpture became an element 
1)1 architecture 

Under the Chuu dynasty in the 
provinces surrounding the 
Yellow River, the Chinese 
continued to produce their 
ritual bronze vessrl' ■ • i>-i-- '■ 
ingthi i.lasML lorn 
latest jomoii and 'l< 
cultures ol lapan in. ' 
fantastic fiKunncs 

Tijuer c :hnu Dvnauv 





Art of this post-pha 
began at a low ebb, but under 
the XXVI Dynasty of Sais (7th 
6th C ' an effort was made to 
return to the stvlcs of the Old 
and .Middle Kingdoms Good 
work was still produced in the 
minor arts 

firtmu. Khnruibtid 


In the northern valley the 
.Assyrians embellished their 
capital cities of Nineveh, 
Nimrud and DurSargon 
iKhorsabad) with monu 
mental sculpture and tine 
furnishings The Hurnansot 
Uranu specialized in oma- 
mcnul metal In Babylonia 
there was some imiuuon of 
early Sumcnan an work 


In Luristan of the central 
Zagros there developed a 
school of animal an, mainly 
bronze figurines, for standards, 
hurse-trappings and the like 
In the west |Tepc Siyalk and 
Marlik) pottery and animal 
figurines had some distinction. 

woo- 500 BC 


Friezes carved in low relief 
on large, thin stone slabs 
were a characteristic art 
form of the Assyrians from 
the 9th-7th centuries. They 
usually lined entrance ways 
or palace rooms, and 
frequently formed a narra- 
tive sequence of warfare, 
ritual or the chase. Like the 
Egyptians and Hittites 
I whose art influenced them I 
the Assyrians liked to show 
figures taking a short pace 
forward. The finest 
examples are at Nimrud, 
Nineveh and Khorsabad 
In Nebuchadnezzar's 
Babylon, bricks moulded 
in relief and colour-glazed 
seem to have been 
favoured - as on the 
palace facade. 


Animals played a great part 
m Egyptian art - as in their 
religion. They were not so 
much attributes of the gods 
as sacred creatures in their 
own right An increase in 
animal cults seems to have 
gone with the general 
decline in Egyptian civiliza- 
tion and cemeteries with 
thousands of mummified 
cats are known. Many 
charming sculptures of 
them were made in a 
perfectly naturalistic style. 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The pottery known to 
classical scholars as proto- 
geometric and geometric 
was the principal art form 
during the 900-700 BC 
period. At first a few simple 
motifs were used sparingly, 
hut with the full geometric, 

Saite period bronze cat 

vessels might be covered 
wath narrow zones of 
patterns and animal and 
human subiects such as 
chariotry and funerals. The 
colouring was usually dark 
brown on chestnut, and the 
shapes were both strong 
and formal. 

Geometric pennd amphura. Athens, Greece 

Wnicrn Mcdiirriancjn 
The SjrJimjn> who dcvisoil 
nurjfchi jIso iiu Jt JcIikIh 
tul liiilc bronzes, luil but 
effective One popular 
subicct ol many was the 
tribal chicl in cloak and cap 
The Etruscans could not 
approach the Creeks in 
stone sculpture but their 
bronzes, tree-siandinjtor on 
vessels, were masterlv 


I . 

Nuiaguc tribal chieitam. 

bronze. Sardinia Horseman with bow. >ig.urc from Etruscan bronze bowl 

Contincnul Europe 
Much ot the tinest early 
Scythian animal art comes 
from rich burials in the 
Kuban The gold panther 
(c. l» ins 3 5cmsl - may 
have been on a shield The 
cloisonne inlav ot the ear 
shows Persian influence. 
The Hallstatt art ot central 
Europe corresponding to 
the Greek geometric is not 
generally distinguished. 
The unique ntual car shows 
the "goddess wnth the vase" 
(on her head I surrounded 
by naked wamors, atten- 

dants, a phallic man and ; 
large stag. 

Iian India 

I he ancient .scltlcniciii..: 
lepe Siyalk in western li i 
.liter being deserted tor .1 
lime, wa.* reoccupied by 
Indo-European people 
koming from the northca-.: 
Chey made richly painted 
pottery in various forms 

Far Eatt 

l(v the time ot the late Chou 
Oynasty, Chinese bronie 
smiths began to abandon 
their intricate vessel forms 
.ind to produce more 
naturalistic creations 
Improved cutting and 

I'ainted pot. Tipe Siyalk. Iran 

drilling methods also 
enabled lade to be treated 
in more elaborate forms. 
The statue of the 
Mongolian girl or 
Shamancss was cast in 
bronie and the birds held 
aloft were carved of ladc. 

The Strettwe/i Cart, bronze. Austria 

Mongolian gir/. bronze with 
jade. Chou Dynasty. China 

The Americas 

As well as the gigantic 
heads for which they art- 
famous, the Olmecs of the 
Gulf coast of Mexico made 
many small carvings for 
cult purposes, some of jade 
They tended more or less 
towards the "baby face" 
style, sometimes with 
added jaguar features 
The grimly down-turned 
mouth is part of this 
feline element 

Ceremonial iade figure. 
Vera Cruz. Mexico 

imO -SOOBCSummarychart 
Region Economy 


Events and developments 




Ascendancy of Assyria until its 
destruction by rising power of Medes in 
612 BC. Babylonian captivity c.600 Persia 
absorbs Medes and ovenhrows 
Babylon 539. 


Tiglath-Pileser 111 
Sargon 11 


Pohtical decline, viith Libyan and Kushii 
dynasties Foreign invasions; 
Assyrian 670, Persian 525 

Eastern Mediterranean 

rj ^J S 









Recovery in archaic Greece. Rise of 
city-states Syro-Hittite states. Phoenicia 
ascendant in Levant, later subjected by 
Assyria United kingdom of Judah and 
Israel under David with lerusalem as 
capital 10th C. BC 


David & Solomr 







Western Mediterranean 


Phoenician trade and colonies: Carthage 
8 14. ViUanovans, Etruscans. Greek 
colonies from 750. ConfUct between these 
groups. Rome founded 753. Under 
Tarquin kings in 6th century 


Continenul Europe 


Domination of continent by Urnfielders 
Hallstatt culture in central Europe leads 
to Celts. 


Ar>'ans move steadily t 
Ganges valley. 

Gautama Buddha 
Cyrus I, II 

Western Chou 1027. 
Eastern Chou 700. 


with city-states in China 

La Venta 

Chavm de Huantar 
Monte Albiin 

Wide influence of Olmecs, but probably 
artistic and religious rather than political. 
Plant cultivation (gourds, sunflowers 
and possibly maize) in N. America. 

The economy bar graph indicates 

relative proportions of these factors: Irrigation 

= Agriculture^ Hunting"?^ Urban life iS Trade 5^ 

UKK) - S(H) h( 



Amun Jill 

Technology and inventions 

An and literature 

Assyrian militjiv tcthnnlnnv cjvjirv, 
sicgc cnKino.ctc Largcscjlc adopjion 
of iron by As.syiuns 

Sugnation in native crafts Nile to Red 
Sea Canal. Iron introduced 

In decline, no new developments 

Assyrian wall reliefs Hahyl>iiii.iii 
Kiazcd tiles Syrian ivories 

Decline Archaistic revival under Saite 
dynasty especially in stone statuary panthiiin 
rcmplis .ind 
•Jtritict Delphic 
c I'hocnician 
pantheon Temples, 
hijth places, obcli>k> 
Animal and infant 

Greeks, Etruscans 
and Phoenicians all 

Iron becoming general Improved 
potter's wheel, kiln. Alphabetic writing. 
Coinage starting in Lydia. Improved 
shipping. Double bank of rowers in 

Potter's wheel spreads Greeks and 
Phoenicians carry writing, coinage, etc., 
throughout area. Iron technology. 

Development of classical architecture, 
particularly the great temple in 
Jerusalem alter Phoenician models 

Greek architecture carried to west 
Etruscans build walls, temples and . 
wide variety of tombs 

New start in geometric pottery painting, 
later sculpture Rapid advances in both. 
Phoenician jewellery, metalwork, but 
largely imitative NcoHittite statues 
and reliefs 
Iliad. Odyisey 
Hesiod's TTicogony 
The Song of Solomon 

Villanovan art on mculwork. Greek art 
imported in quantity by local peoples, 
much copied and adapted, especially by 
Etruscans Sardinian bronze figurines. 

Votive offerings. Great increase of bronze in circulation,- 

founders' hoards. Improved mining 
techniques in Central Europe. Iron 
spreading from South. 

Poor timber and sod huts. Beginning of 

hill forts Mines 

Bronzework shows high craftsmanship 
rather than artistry I 

Vedic religion 
coalescing with 
nauve cults 
Upanishads At very 
end of period 

Little advance until late in period. 

Stone and brick city walls re-appear 

Unspectacular painted pottery. 



Range of Divinities 
land ancestor 
'worship continuing 
iContuciusand Lao- 

Tse at very end ot 


Iron casting developed at end of period. 

Timber architecture, 

t surviving. Roof 

Chou an, continuing in bronze but also 
jade and lacquer Jade carving. 
Book of Songs 

laguar worship by 
Olmecs Ceremonial 
centres developing 
Funerary cult in 
N America 

Stone and pottery-using cultures. 
Irrigation developed in Peruvian 

Shrines on raised platforms in Valley of 
Mexico Ceremonial centres on Mexican 
east coast. Mostly adobe in Peru and for 
all smaller buildings. First Mississippi 
burial mounds. 

Olmec stone statues and statuettes 
Chavin art on pottery and textiles 


s N V 

vV- i 



Bronze bead of the Creek Delphic Cbunoteer. the surviving. 
figure of a votive group which portrayed a chariot race and 
its victorious driver 

This ptnod saw the completion of the shift in the chief growing points 
in advancement and [-Kiwer from the Near East towards tlie west. 
In the tirst two centuries the I'ersian empire can he seen as continuing 
the );re.itness nt llie ancieiu orient, inchiding, as it did, all the original 
heartLiiulsot Mesopotamia, tgypt, the Levant, Anatolia - and even the 
Indus Indeed, it was larger, much hetter organized and for a time more 
successful in maintaining peace than any predecessor Yet when in the 
opeiimg decades of this period the Persians under I^arius and Xerxes 
tailed to defeat the hrilliaiu, llexihle Creeks, led hy Athens, the future 
ot the west was assured - rather as the future of England was assured 
when the Spanish Amiada failed. The proof came with Alexander the 
treat's astounding conquest of the i'ersian empire from .^M to his 
Ac.nh in MA BC. In spite of the immediate splitting up of the empire 
imi> provinces, Alexander had succeeded in carrying Creek 
I li. Ilenistic) culture throughout its vast territories. 

The shift to the west came near its culmination for the ancient 
\s orld with the irresistible rise of Republican Rome. During the first 
i\Mi 1 1 iituriL s of the period when the Creeks were enioying the harvest 
"I iIk It i age, the Etruscans were the highly civilized people 
nl iLily .uul sccined by far the strongest. Yet after another two centuries 
Etruscans and Carthaginians had been cowed and the Greeks them- 
selves made subject to Rome. By the end of the period the Egyptians 
and also the barbarian Celts had been conquered and Roman rule 
extended to the Channel coasts. With Octavian ruling as Augustus, the 
Roman republic had in reality become imperial. 

Although no one could question that these tremendous events in 
the west were of supreme importance for the future of mankind, the 
orient also knew momentous changes. In India the Persian province of 
the Punjab was taken by Alexander, but soon liberated by the Mauryan 
princes. Of the second and greatest of them, Ashoka, it has been said 
that "his reign marks the first coherent expression of the Indian mind". 

In China an age of philosophers and social thinkers followed 
Confucius, and the Ch'in dynasty (to which it owes its name) united 
the empire and sheltered it with a Great Wall. Cultural change and 
progress came with the Han rulers. 

In Central America, Maya civilization was launched, glyphic 
writing and the calendrical cult begun. South American peoples 
advanced their prosperity by increasing food production through 
irrigation and terrace farming. Their craftspeople produced superb 
textiles and ceramics and curious works in gold. 

The fulfilment of the Greek miracle in the high classical age of the 
fifth-fourth centuries was one of those wonderful outbursts of 
human creativity and greatness of spirit that light up the history of 
our species Although Athens and its state of Attica, where the flame 
burned brightest, were politically powerful in the fifth century, turning 
a league formed against the Persians into a kind of Athenian empire 
dominating the rival Spartans, it is significant that one immediately 
thinks of this Hellenic age in terms of mind. In the arts - poetry, drama, 
.sculpture and painting - in the intellectual fields of mathematics, 
philosophy and science, and perhaps above all in the new vision of 
people and society that inspired democracy, a small and largely barren 
country produced a shining treasure of genius on which we still draw. 
Behind it all was a way of looking at man never before experienced. It 
was related to the detachment ot the lonians, seeing man with his 
terrible limitations and yet with his innate worth. That worth, however, 
was still not divorced from transcendental ideas: man housed a spark 
that made him part of some divine reality and beauty. This produced a 
fully conscious philosophical belief in the rightness of democracy in 
contrast with the absolutism of oriental god-kings. 

Pencles. He made election 
by free males a reality m 
Athens by 450 BC. 

Darius 111 of Persia at the 
Battle of Issus 1333 BC) in 
which he was defeated by 
Alexander^ mosaic. 
Pompeii. Italy. 

In the year 490 BC (when Buddha and 
Confucius were still living) the Greeks 
defeated the Persians under Darius at 
Marathon, and Herodotus and Pericles were 
bom. These events well express the age to 
come, for Herodotus as the first true historian 
was to add much to the new view of mankind, 
while by mid-century Pericles was to make 
democratic election (if only by free males) a 
reality in Athens, and by working with men of 
genius (such as the sculptor Phidias) to make 
it indeed "an education for Greece". 

The yield of genius was extraordinary. 
To take only a few samples, the first surviving 
play of Aeschylus dates from 472, Sophocles' 
first great tragedy from 468 and Euripides' from 
455 - also the birth year of Thucydides. That 
wonder of the world, the temple of Zeus at 
Olympia, with Phidias' great gold and ivory 
statue of the god, was begun in about 460. 
The Parthenon was began m 447 BC and the 
Propylaea was built as a worthy entry to the 
Acropolis. The Odeon concert hall was also 
built at this time, and so were gymnasia and 
baths for the citizens. 

Yet for all their achievement and their 
pursuit of the four virtues of courage, 
temperance, justice and wisdom, they could 
not hold back from man's terrible urge to 
warfare. Pericles wanted Athens to be the 
centre of power as well as of culture and so he 
alarmed Sparta and her allies, most like her- 
self conservative oligarchies, and then ensued 
the tragedy of the Peloponnesian war and the 
final defeat of Athens by 404. Fourth century 
Athens was still intellectually great, though 
mainly in a philosophy that theorized and 
distrusted the springs of poetry. Plato was bom 
in the year (429) when Pericles died; two years 
later Aristophanes began to teach the Greeks 
to enjoy his mordant humour and to laugh 
even at democracy. Thucydides, successor to 
Herodotus, was there to write the disastrous 
story of much of the Peloponnesian war, and 
Aristotle was born just twenty years after its 
end, in 384 BC. 

One event deserves recall because it is so 
well known and because it so well illustrates 
the relentless steps of time. When Cyrus the 
Younger's revolt against the Persian king had 
failed, Xenophon, the future historian, was 
among the leaders of the Greek contingent 
stranded a thousand miles from any homeland. 
The famous Retreat of the Ten Thousand took 
them up the Tigris. At Nimrud the river had 
shifted and they marched along the empty bed 
looking far up at the mighty quays and 
ziggurat. The huge and wealthy Assyrian city 
of our previous period was almost deserted and 


wouki soon be torKnttcii I li 
401 IK 

The tmirth century saw contests between 
Greeks ami Carthat^inians in the Mediter- 
ranean, particularly in Sicily, ami.while I'lato 
wrote his mastcrworks in Athens, endless 
internal stru>y;les between Thebes, Sparta, 
Athens and their shiftuiK allies None realized 
that Philip, who m .VS9 had become kin>;ot the 
northern mountain land ot Macedon, was to 
make their nvalnes seem msigniticant. He 
reorganized his kingdom, captured Thracian 
gold and silver mines, and won control of the 
pass to the south (the Thermopylae where 
Xerxes' Persian invasion had been repulsed in 
480). The divisions and advantage-seeking of 
the southern city-states weakened all resist- 
ance, and in 338 Philip won his victory at 
Chaeronia and organized Greece under his 
own leadership. 

The Macedonian now felt strong enough to 
fulfil the persistent Greek dream of war against 
the weakening Achaemenid empire of the 
Persians. Although he was murdered before 
he had won more than a foothold in Anatolia, 
his much greater son Alexander, between 334 
and his death at Babylon in 323, conquered the 
whole vast territory even to northwest India. 
(His traditional cutting of the Gordion Knot at 
the old Phrygian capital would have been soon 
after his first crossing of the Hellespont in 334. 
He burnt Persepolis four years later.) 

Like Napoleon in Egypt, Alexander 
campaigned with a following of scientists and 
historians, and he founded many cities across 
Asia. Greek architectural forms and Delphic 
inscriptions have been found in one of these 
foundations beside the distant Oxus. Soine- 
thing of the Greek ideal looks out from the 
faces of works of later Indian sculpture. 

Of the descendants of Alexander's genera 1^ 
who divided his brief empire, the Seleucids 
were by far the most powerful - for a time 
ruling nearly all the Asiatic territories from 
Anatolia and Mesopotamia to the frontier ot 
India. In the mid third century, however, the\ 
had to cede some of their eastern lands to the 
nomadic Parthians. The Seleucids remained 
great proselytizers for Greek civilization, 
founding Macedonian cities such as Seleucia 
and Antioch. 

The other royal house sprung from an 
Alexandnne general was that of the Ptolemies 
in Egypt. There the strength of the ancient 
pharaonic tradition of culture was largely 
maintained in the Nile valley. Alexandria, 
however, rapidly became a brilliant cosmo- 
poUtan city, a centre of international scholar 
ship and science that fulfilled its founder's 

Alexander the Great, son o 
Philip of Macedon. During 
the course of U years he 
brought the entire Persian 
empire including northwest 
India under Greek control 
and in so doing inaugurated 
the Hellenistic Age. 


Ptolemy Hand his wife on 
a sdidonyx cameo. Though 
Macedonian by birth and 
Greek in outlook, the 
Ptolemies ruled as pharaohs 
in Egypt. 

highest purposes. There worked Archimedes 
(from Greek Syracuse) and Euchd; there was 
built the Museum with its splendid library and 
the famous lighthouse on the island of Pharos. 

Unhappily the old struggle between Egypt 
and Mesopotamia for the Levant was revived 
in new form by the Ptolemies and Seleucids. 
One of the more bizarre episodes during the 
course of their alternating fortunes was when 
the Seleucid Antochus IV, soon after the 
recapture of Syria and Palestine from Egypt, 
determined to destroy Judaism in favour of the 
Greek gods. The temple at Jerusalem was 
dedicated to Olympian Zeus, and his altar, 
displacing that of Yahweh, became the 
"abomination of desolation". The rage aroused . 
in the Jews led on to the revolt of the 

In these Hellenistic centuries when Greek 
ideas and culture affected half the world, the 
affairs of the small land of their birth seemed 
relatively insignificant. Greece kept its prestige 
as the source of civihzation, and there was still 
life and ambition in Athens, Sparta and 

Macedon. Yet memorable names and deeds 
are few. Across the Aegean the cities of 
Pergamum, Ephesus and Miletus flourished 
and were beautified; kings of Pergamum were 
strong enough to defeat the invading Celts and 
pen them into central Anatolia - where they 
gave their name to Galatia. 

While the Seleucids and Ptolemies 
pursued their great affairs and the Greek cities 
their smaller ones, the new state was rising in 
Italy that would soon eclipse them all. Here 
was the next step m the westward shift of 
power to be completed in this period. 

The Romans at the end of our last period 
were a poor but independent republic. During 
the next two centuries they were concerned to 
win control over Italy south of the Po by break- 
ing the Etruscans and dominating the other 
peoples of the peninsula. First they made 
themselves the real masters of a modest 
federation of Latin neighbours, which 
succeeded in conquering the Sabines. The 
Etruscans held out through the fifth century, 
then, weakened by the usual internal quarrels 
and by invasion of Celts across the Alps, Veii 
fell to the Romans in 396. A few years later the 
Celts sacked Rome, but this brief setback only 
hardened the Romans; they annexed Latium, 
then the Campania from the Samnites. Learn- 
ing by experience, they improved their 
weapons and tactics, and began their pohcy of 
control through engineered military roads. By 
the mid third century Rome, itself now a large 
city ruled much of central and southern Italy 
and was so evidently a coming power that con- 
flict with the Carthaginians still entrenched 
right along the African coast, in southern 
Corsica, Sardinia and western Sicily, and 
involvement with the Greek cities of south 
Italy and Sicily, were inevitable. Here one 
well-known name appears. In the 270s I^yrrhus, 
of Greek Epirus, used a large army and 
elephants to try to keep the Romans out of 
southern Italy and drive the Carthaginians out 
of Sicily. His unavailing victories made his 
name immortal. 

The First Punic (Carthaginian) War, 
264-241, brought Rome her earliest overseas 
province - Sicily - soon to be followed by 
Corsica and Sardinia. The Romans had shown 
their deadly will and energy when, landlubbers 
as they were, they built a large fleet and pain- 
fully mastered its use. 

The Carthaginians determined to fight 
back by strengthening their forces in Spain, a 
policy boldly begun by their general, Hamilcar 
When his son Hannibal took the command 
various provocations gave the Romans the 
excuse to declare war. Their plans were upset 

Hellenistic aitneo of 
Alexander the Great and 
Roxane Alexander was a 
g/eat deal less successful at 
Sovcrnins bis vast, formerly 
Persian empire, than he was 
at conquering it His 
adoption of Persian 
manners and dress and his 
marriage to a Bactrian 
princess Roxane alienaud 
his fellow Macedonians. 

This situation was further 
aggravated by Alexander's 
assumption of divinity 
and its accompanying 
ritual. Whether he would 
have been able to maintain 
his empire is doubtful. In 
any event, on bis premature 
death at the age of 32, his 
empire was split between 
his generals who had Roxane 
and her son murdered 

"DyjJig Warrior." marble. 
490 BC. Greece. 

by Hannibal's bold decision to invade Italy. 
Largely thanks to the writing of the Greek 
historian, Polybius, Hannibal's crossing of the 
Alps with his elephants in 220 remains one of 
the epic stories of the western world. It coin- 
cided almost exactly with the Ch'in conquest 
of China and its unification behind a Great 
Wall of Emperor Ch'in-Shih-huang. 

Celts in the north rallied to Hannibal and 
this still youthful military genius won his great 
victories; it seemed that Rome itself must fall. 
Yet the Carthaginians failed to invade the city, 
and after all the years and campaigns of the 
Second Punic War, by 201 BC Hannibal had to 
surrender to Scipio Africanus and Carthage 
became a tributary of Rome with territory no 
greater than modem Tunisia. So the western 
upstart ended the ancient Phoenician sea 
power of the orient. Rome took Spain with its 
silver and gold mines. Well before this Rome 
had seized Illyrian land across the southern 
Adriatic, a movement that brought her close to 
the Greeks in Macedon. 

It seems amazing that the Greeks had not 
recognized what was happening in their world 
before 217, when there was a warning that 
there was "a cloud rising in the west". Even 
then an alliance that included Greece was 
foolish enough to appeal to Rome for aid 
against Macedon's ambitious king. Like the 
Assyrians for Babylon, the Romans still felt a 
certain veneration for Greece to whom they 
owed so much of their culture, and when the 
first of their annies landed in Greece it was in 
the name of "liberation". However, after some 
decades of Greek feebleness and disputes, 
"their patience was exhausted": first Macedon 
and then most of Greece were subjected - in 

146 BC (just 200 years after the death of Plato). 
In that same year, after long clamour in the 
ruling Senate, the Romans destroyed the city of 
Carthage and sowed it with salt. They now had 
an African province with abundant corn. 
Another rich province fell to them peacefully 
when the last king of Pergamum gave them 
western Anatolia. By 100 BC Rome controlled 
nearly all the lands north of the Mediterranean 
- which was already virtually a "Roman lake". 

The events of the last century of this period 
as the Romans extended their conquest both 
east and west are a familiar part of history and 
literature. The names of Pompey and Caesar, 
of Antony and Cleopatra, seem to belong to a 
different, more poetic, world. Yet their 
intrigues, coups d'etat and conquests were 
mundane enough. 

Pompey it was who ended the Hellenistic 
Seleucids' kingdom. From the second century 
they had lost their eastern territories to the 
formerly nomadic Parthians, a little known 
empire which at times stretched from Bactria 
to Babylonia. By 64 BC Pompey took the 
Seleucid heartland of Syria. He also captured 
Jerusalem and outraged the Jews by entering 
the Holy of Holies - but Judea was not to be 
completely annexed until the first years of our 
next period. 

Soon after Pompeys oriental triumphs, 
Caesar won his in the west. From 58 BC he 
waged his often brutal campaigns against the 
fierce if divided resistance of the Gallic 
(Celtic) tribes of France and the Low 
Countries. They ended when Vercingetorix, 
after leading a successful rebellion, was 
captured at Alesia in 52 BC. (He was held for 
six years before being paraded in Caesar's 

Roman Trimiiph and then stranjilcd I The 
Roman frontier was now on the Rhine In the 
years sS-S4 Caesar had tounJ time to make his 
two IVrrhic invasions of Britain - dates whieh 
must be said here are too otteii ennUiseil with 
those of the later Claudian conquest 

It was just at this time that the Romans 
suffered their most terrihle reverse at the 
opposite hmits ot their realm The a^in); 
Crassus (who had put ilown the slave uprising 
of Spartacus) unwisely led an army a>;ainst the 
Parthians in Mesopotamia, hoping to win 
glory as great as Caesar's - or even Alexander s 
The army was caught at Carrhae (HarranI ami 
thousands killed: the worst havoc was wrought 
by the arrows of the light cavalry, a proportion, 
no doubt, by those Parthian shots loosed as the 
horsemen wheeled away. One story is worth 
telling as, true or false, it reveals something ot 
the part-Greek, part-barbarian oriental courts 
of the region. It tells that the Parthian king sent 
the head of Crassus to his tributary monarch of 
Armenia. The gift arrived during some royal 
nuptials at which an actor was reciting from 
Euripides' Hacchac This lason seized the 
trophy and declaimed the frenzied words 
which, in the tragedy, Agave addresses to the 
head of Pentheus. 

So the Roman effort to push beyond the 
Euphrates failed, and before the end of this 
period a large army under Mark Antony was 
also routed by the Parthians. 

It was in 49 BC in the midst of civil war that 
Caesar crossed the Rubicon and took posses- 
sion of Italy. Soon after, having eradicated 
Pompey, Caesar made a winter campaign in 
Egypt, enioying the company of Cleopatra then 
a little over twenty years old and as brilliant 
and dynastically ambitious as she was 
seductive. He confirmed her on the throne of 
Egypt - the seventh Cleopatra of the house ot 
Ptolemy - and left her pregnant of a son. 

In the various crises of civil war and the 
failure of the Senate to maintain government, 
Julius Caesar had several times been given 
office as temporary dictator, but when he 
returned to Rome, having crushed the last of 
Pompey's party, he claimed it for life: to be in 
effect an emperor That may have been the 
main reason for his murder at a meeting of the 
Senate on the Ides of March 44 BC. 

Octavian, still in his teens, had been 
adopted as Caesar's son and heir The renewed 
civil fighting that broke out after the Ides ot 
March, the appointment of the Triumvirate 
of Mark Antony, Octavian and the wretched 
Lepidus, their punishment of the party of 
Caesar's murderers (Cicero was among those 
executed) and the victory over them at Philippi 

ne I'anhians were able to 
defeat the Roman army of 
Crassus at Carrhae m 53 BC 
by utWjsinjt .such tactics as 
the I'arthian shot - an arrow- 
loosed as the horseman 
wheeled away at high speed 

Supposed head of Cleopatra, 
Queen of Egypt. Octavian's 
disapproval of her marriage 
to Antony led him to 
declare war on Egypt After 
the battle of Actium in 
31 BC Egypt became a 
Roman province. 

luhus Caesar (shown above! 
had several times been 
given office as temporary 
dictator but upon eradicat- 
ing Pompey he claimed 
office for life. He adopted 
Octavian as his son arid heir 
(shown right) who later 
took the title of Augustus 
and established the Roman 

The Roman mosaic below 
shows Vergil writing the 
Aeneid accompanied by 
two muses. When he died 
with his work unfinished. 
Augustus took some part 
in having the epic publishcii 

make a familiar narrative. For a time Octavian 
undertook the reorganization of Italy while 
Antony was to look after the eastern provinces. 

The year 41 BC saw Mark Antony's first 
encounter with Cleopatra when she sailed up 
the Cydnus in splendour to meet him at Tarsus. 
He spent the venter with her in Egypt - out- 
doing Caesar in leaving her with twins. During 
the years that followed Antony's costly failure 
against the Parthians, his growing subsei-vience 
to Cleopatra, his marriage to her and abandon- 
ment of his wife, Octavian's sister, most of all 
the suspicions he aroused in Rome by heaping 
Cleopatra and her offspring with titles and 
honours, made it easy for the cool, ruthless, 
immensely capable Octavian to break with 
him and declare war 

The battle of Actiuni, when Cleopatra's 
ships withdrew, was in 31. It is historically true 
that Antony stabbed himself, thinking 
Cleopatra dead, and died in her arms; true also 
that she killed herself by snake bite - though it 
was after an interval during which she seems 
t( > have hoped to captivate the cold Octavian 
and save her throne. So by 30 Egypt became a 
pi ( ivince of Rome, one that could supply the 
city with enough grain for four months of the 
vcar A little later Octavian took the title of 
Augustus, and although the legal forms of the 
Republic were duly observed, in fact estab- 
lished the Roman empire. He was worshipped 
by many of his subjects during his lifetime and 
after his death his cult as a god was part of the 
imperial religious observances. 

Augustus was a typical Roman of his time 
in that while he felt a sentimental admiration 
for Greek culture, he combined it with a 
dedication to Rome and Roman values. His 
was in fact a golden age of Latin writing. Vergil 
(70-19 BC) published his Georgics in 19, and 
when he died with the Aeneid not perfectly 
finished Augustus himself took some part in 
having the epic published. Catullus, the 
intense poet of love between the sexes, was 
some seventeen years Vergil's senior and 
Horace five years his junior. Ovid was writing 
as well at this time. 

For the rest of the century he was cease- 
lessly occupied with reconstructing the 
administration and the army, extending the 
European frontier to the Danube, enhancing 
Rome and creating a true Pax Roniana. So, 
when Jesus of Nazareth was born - in fact in 
about 4 BC at the end of the reign of Herod the 
Great - the Roman Empire, in which his 
ministry was to be lived, was reaching one of its 
summits of prosperity and power 

The furthest limit of the shift of innovation 
and achievement towards the west can be 

recognized in the exuberant rise and expaiisimi 
of the Celtie peoples Their tirst advance 
stimiilateil hv contacts with the Creeks ot 
Massiha was inentioneti ni the last chapter, 
and thev have already appeared more than 
once in the present section as barbarian intru- 
ders upon the civilized world Barbarians still 
only lust einerj;in>; troni the mists ot prehistory 
they remained until the last ceiiturv or two BC 
Yet when brought under Roman rule this gifted 
and vigorous people was to add rich sources of 
talent, wealth - and trouble - to the empire. 

The cradle lands of the Celts, their 
language and culture were in central Europe 
north i)t the Alps and extending into western 
France where they can be seen as descendants 
of the creators of the first iron-using culture ot 
Europe, the Hallstatt. Thev came in time to 
dominate France and Belgium to the Rhine. 
north Italy, much ot Spain and the British Isles. 
while Calatia was an outpost left from their 
migrating thrusts eastward. (From all this area 
varieties of their Indo-European speech now 
survive only on its western fringes in Scotland, 
Wales, Ireland and Brittany.) 

Their culture, including their marvellous 
decorative La Tene art, was developing its 
character during the two great classical 
centuries of Greece. Their an in fact grew out 
of the Hallstatt tradition through the stimulus 
of imported Greek and Roman decorative 
design - particularly on wine vessels. This art 
also absorbed something from the animal 
designs of the Scyths. 

From as early as 500 BC Greek writers 
bring the Celts into history as a distinctive 
people united by more than language. They 
were said to be tall, fair and excitable, with a 
love of personal display, wine-drinking and 
fighting. They were in fact much given to 
warfare between the tribes into which they 
were divided, and increasingly during the 
period they built hilltop strongholds which 
tended to develop into regular settlements. 
They are usually called oppida in France and 
hillforts in Britain. 

In most regions the Celts were ruled by a 
warrior aristocracy much given to horses. They 
were probably the last to adopt |fifth century) 
and the last to employ, the two-wheeled battle 
chariot that had originated in the second 
millennium. Much of their finest art w^as 
lavished on their shields, helmets, weapons, 
horse harness and chariot fittings. 

The religion of the Celts had much in 
common with the more primitive stages of 
other Indo-European peoples. They recognized 
a variety of divinities, widespread or with local 
habitations, and propitiated them through 

The silver "Gimderstrup Cauldron is decorated with the heads of Celtic divinities 

Found in the Celtic shrine 
of Roquepertuse. France, 
was this Umestone "janus 
head" so called after the 
double-facing, Roman god- 

sacrifices of cattle and human beings. Their 
famous druids, mostly members of the aris- 
tocracy, had considerable power. They were 
part priest, part seer, part shaman - and there is 
more reason to believe in their human 
sacrifices than in their possession of philo- 
sophy. A few, like DivitacUs, the druid friend of 
Cicero and Caesar, may have understood 
something of classical thought. The extra- 
ordinary Greek-influenced religious sculpture 
of Provence (a shrine in the Entremont 
oppidum near Aix and Roquepertuse) dating 
from the third-second century well represents 
the Celtic mingling of civilization with 
barbarity. As well as strangely dignified sacred 
figures, this sculpture clearly represents the 
Celtic cult of trophy heads. 

It was in the early fourth century, just before 
the birth of Aristotle, that several Celtic tribes 
invaded northern Italy by the Alpine passes, 
settling in Lombardy, Emilia and down the 
Adriatic coasts. They were known to the 
Romans as Galli. From here fast -moving 

warrior bands made forays as far to the south 
as Sicily. Rome itself was sacked in 390 and 
remained under threat until the Romans 
succeeded in trapping and destroying a huge 
Gallic army at the battle of Telamon in 225. 

Further east, it is assumed that there had 
been an earlier Celtic migration into the 
Balkans to account for mercenaries serving in 
the Peloponnese in c. 369. It must have been 
some disaster in the early third century that 
caused a horde of Celts to invade Macedonia 
in wintertime. Whole families were moving in 
their wagons - a migration recalling that of the 
Sea Peoples in the eastern Mediterranean 
almost a thousand years earlier Before the 
Greeks could wear them down they had done 
much pillage and even attacked Delphi. The 
Greeks subsequently hung a set of the long 
Celtic shields as trophies in the temple of 
Apollo, where they could be compared with 
the old Persian shields already in the shrine. 

It was tribes from this migration that 
swung eastward across the Dardanelles and 

enjoyed a life of successful b.iiulitrv in 
Anatolia before being settled in Cilaiia 

The history of the Celtic penetration ot 
Spain remauis shadowy. Early Celtic-speaking 
groups had probably been arriving late in our 
previous period, others certainly came bv land 
or sea during the fifth centurv and perhaps later 
While the Tartessians and Iberians contuuied 
to prosper and to develop their culture 
(including stone sculpture) in the south and 
east, the Celts were concentrated in the nonh 
and west, spreading also into the wild and 
primitive interior After mingling with local 
folk they tended to develop in ways distinct 
from their kinsmen north of the IVt-'nees. 
Their many castros can, however, be compared 
with Gaulish and British nppula and forts. 

In spite of the long surs'ival and brilliance 
of their language, literature and art, panicularly 
in Ireland, the history of the Celts' invasions of 
Britain is again far from clear As in Spain, they 
had probably begun during the late Bronze Age 
of our last period ( ICXX] - 500 BC) and con- 
tinued through the present period. One of the 
most easily distinguished groups was that of 
the Parisii who settled in Yorkshire, their chiefs 
being buried with their chariots as was the 
custom in their homelands of the Marne. The 
only historically recorded invasions were thoM 
of the Belgae from the lower Rhine mentionni 
by Julius Caesar as having taken place not loii . 
before his own raids. These Belgae, ruling in 
the southeast and south of England, came to 
have political as well as trading contacts with 
Gaul and the Romans in the last century BC, 
importing wine, fine pottery and other goods ot 
civilization and adopting coinage. During this 
century and up to the conquest by Claudius, La 
Tene art had a late flowering in Britain, 
producing some of its leading masterpieces. 

In Scandinavia this period covers the pre- 
Roman Iron Age of archaeology. It was not a 
very prosperous time in the north perhaps 
because the Germanic tribes were cut off by the 
Celts-who were more interested in their 
Mediterranean contacts. Iron came into use 
only very slowly. This is the time of some of the 
famous "bog people," the amazingly well- 
preserved bodies of men and women (including 
ToUund Man) who had been sacrificed to the 
gods or executed for crimes and then consigned 
to the bogs. 

In India, which through its Indo-European 
inheritance of language and religion was not in 
fact so utterly remote from the Celtic world as 
distance would suggest, Achaemenid Darius 
had conquered the northern I\mjab in S 16 BC, 
making it the twentieth satrapy of the Persian 
Empire. Achaemenid cities such as Charsada 

and Taxila grew up on caravan routes thai 
assured their prosperity. Persian influence now 
encouraged the adoption of a coinage and the 
use ot iron - also the Aramaeic alphabet soon to 
be moditiedtosuit Indian languages Sanskrit 
remained the languageotlearnmgandliterature. 

We have already seen how, with the spread 
ot the Indo-Europeans eastward into the 
Ganges-lumna basin,this became the centre of 
the steadily evolving Hinduism. The doctrine 
ot transmigration was accepted by the Hindus 
and their more fanatical sect of the Jains, and 
they had been taught by Buddha and by 
Mahavira, founder ot the jams.ihai release 
from the sad cycle of rebirth could be obtained 
only by right belief, right conduct and right 
action on the part of each individual. 

The caste system was now becoming 
firmly established, part of it based as it 
originally was on colour. The fair westerners 
ruled the natives whom they called Dasyus 
(slaves). There were three groups of the higher 
castes, the brahmans or priests (who have 

The amazinj^y well 
/ireserved head ofVjIliwd 
Man from Oenmark 
belimaed tu one of ihc "box 
people " either sacnfwed to 
the Iron Ame Scandinavian 
xods or executed for crimes. 


Scythian gold pkque from 
southern Russia shows two 
men shanng a drinking 
horn - perhaps as a gesture 
of friendship. 

sometimes been likened to druids), the warriors 
and the merchants. The aboriginals below them 
were to become untouchable sudias or outcasts. 

The two great epics of the time, the 
Mahabharata and Ranwyana.&re always 
irresistibly compared with the Iliad and 
Odyssey. Though one is concerned with a 
family feud, che other with the adventures of 
Prince Rama of Oudh, together they give a 
picture of a maturing civilization with powerful 
kingdoms, walled towns and spacious^ if simple, 
palaces. In eastern India small states, both tribal 
republics and principalities, were being welded 
into larger units, the greatest of them becoming 
Maghada with its capital at Pataliputra (Patna). 
Here were self-contained villages in forest 
clearings; craft guilds under guild masters were 
an important part of social life. 

In 326 BC a clear shaft of historical light 
breaks into this rather dim picture. Alexander 
the Great crossed the Indus and soon entered 
Taxila-where the Greeks were at once amazed 
by the naked Jain ascetics, widow-burning and 
marriage markets. They had very little difficulty 
in taking the Persian satrapy: in the crucial 
battle the elephants of the Indian army proved 
more dangerous to their ovm side than to the 
invaders, and the chariots useless. 

Alexander would have liked to conquer the 
Ganges lands, but his troops at last rebelled 
and he had to withdraw along the Indus. Soon 
after his death the Greeks as a ruhng power 
were driven out of the Punjab by a national 
rising led by a young warrior, Chandragupta 
Maurya-who then made himself king of 
Maghada. He came to rule most of northern 
India as a typical good oriental despot, 
maintaining a large army, many spies and a 
pleasant lacquered palace at Pataliputra. He 
built a royal road to the northwest frontier and 
his foreign trade extended as far afield as Egypt 
and China. 

The greatest ruler of the Mauryan empire 
was to be Chandra gupta's grandson, Ashoka, 
who succeeded in 273. He launched a success- 
ful war against Kalinga (Orissa) but was so 
much horrified by the slaughter and suffering 
he had caused that he became a total convert to 
Buddhism, renounced warfare and began to 
rule his kingdom under the "law of piety" 

This conversion was almost as important 
for Buddhism as that of Constantine was to be 
for Christianity. It was raised from a still 
obscure sect to be the official religion of a very 
considerable empire. Ashoka with his family 
visited the Buddhist holy places, and at each 
one of them, and other spots besides, set up his 
famous sandstone columns in the Persian style, 
highly polished and crowned with lions and 

other symbols. On some, gentle admonitions to 
his subjects were carved. The ashes of Buddha 
were divided up and great numbers of stupas or 
dagobas built to enshrine them. Rock-cut 
temples and cells, the interiors highly polished, 
were copied from Persia, and it is very probable 
that many craftsmen employed in Persia and 
left unemployed by the destruction of 
Persepolis and other effects of Alexander's 
seizure of the Achaemenid empire, moved into 
the service of the Mauryans and began to 
beautify their cities-hitherto without stone 
architecture or style. 

Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries far 
afield even to Antiochus of Syria and Ptolemy 
of Egypt. More important for the future was his 
family mission to Lanka (Sri Lanka) which 
converted the king and all his court. Buddhism 
has continued there ever since. 

After Ashoka died in 232, the Mauryan 
empire began to break down and by the second 
century, when it ended, India was being 
violently affected by movements of nomadic 
hordes on the steppes to the north. The Grecian 
element in the population of the Punjab was 
reinforced when Greeks settled in Bactria were 
driven across the Hindu Kush by Saka nomads 
from beyond the Oxus.The Saka themselves 
invaded India and set up petty kingdoms there. 
In about 140 the Parthians, a part of this great 
nomad upheaval, seized Taxila. 

The history of the nomadic hordes along 
the whole sweep of the Eurasiatic steppes 
during this period is too complicated and fast 
changing to be chronicled. At its beginning the 
Scyths of the Pontic regions were still strong 
and making the great royal burials so vividly 
and accurately described by Herodotus. The 
richness of these royal tombs is even better 
shown at Pazyryk in the Altai where in the 
fifth-third centuries BC eastern kinsmen of the 
Scyths left burial mounds so constructed that 
they served as a deep-freeze preserving marvel- 
lous textiles, pictorial felt hangings and 
fantastic horse headdresses. Some of these 
grave furnishings show strong Chinese 
influence. The bodies buried at Pazyryk prove 
that mongols were now mingling with the Indo 
European stock; the men had been tattooed 
with impeccable displays of nomadic animal art. 

Towards the end of the period Scyths were 
largely destroyed by a steady westward thrust 
of the Sarmatians. As for the movements into 
India, they had been set off by the expanding 
power of the Hsiung Nu nomads of the Gobi 
who pushed out their eastern neighbours, the 
Yueh Chi. These people were among those 
whom the Chinese wished to hold in check by 
the construction of their Great Wall. 

■h \ « 

Oripnaling in the steppe 
lands were various peoples 
who specialized in animal 
motifs in their an. The ^old 
stag from Kostromskaya. 
Russia was found in a 
Scythian bunal. the gold 
wamor and horse IS 
Sarmauan work from 
Siberia and the applied 
felt-decorated saddlecover 
below from Pazyryk. Russia 
IS atlrtbmcd to the Huns 

The Chinese silk i 
to make this cloth found in 
a chieftain 's burial at 
I'azyryk, Russia, no doubt 
arrived via the Silk Road 
from the Han capital 
through Samarkhand on 
the way to the Mediter- 
ranean coast 

In China itself the Chou regime was 
weakening before and during the period known 
as the age of the Warring States (402-221 BC) 
when there was not only internal fighting 
between states but attacks from the nomads. 
Yet it was an age of growing trade and of 
prosperous country towns, also an age of 
philosphers such as Motzu who believed in 
universal love and pacifism and Mencius who 
developed Confucian teaching. Iron was 
coming more freely into use for weapons as well 
as tools. 

The rising state was in fact that of the Ch'in 
who had remained relatively obscure during 
the height of the Chou but now fought south- 
ward from their northern homeland. They may 
have owed some of their success to their 
adoption of good iron swords. In 256, when the 
Romans were in the middle of the First Punic 
War, the Ch'in killed the last, vestigial, Chou 
emperor and soon took control of all rival 
states. As a more civilized commentator 
observed "Ch'in has the same customs as the 
barbarians. It has the heart of a tiger of wolf .... 
It knows nothing about etiquette and \drtuous 
conduct and if there be any opportunity for 
material gam, it will disregard its relatives 
as if they were animals." 

Nevertheless by 221 their ruler established 
himself as Ch'in-Shih-huang "First Emperor" of 
a unified Chinese empire. Various northern 

states had been building sections of earthen 
wall against nomad attack; these the emperor 
now faced with stone and linked together to 
form a continuous rampart. Its effectiveness 
was greatly increased by the invention of the 
crossbow which enabled defenders to pick off 
the mounted nomads at a range far beyond that 
of their own composite bows. 

Ch'in-Shih-huang's government was 
efficient in administration, in unifying the 
script and the currency, but he tyrannically 
suppressed free intellectual debate, ordered a 
burning of the books -and so was execrated 
in later times. 

The rule of his house was not to last. By 
206 BC it had been displaced by the Han 
dynasty, coming from the same northern region 
as the Chou and Ch'in. (Although the west has 
adopted the name of the Ch'in for the coimtry, 
the Chinese like to call themselves "men of 
Han") The first two centuries of the Han 
empire, when the "Son of Heaven" ruled from 
the "City of Eternal Peace," coincided with the 
expansion of the Roman republic. While it was 
equally rich and powerful, despite the name of 
the capital, it was no more peaceloving-at least 
in earthly terms. 

Desen'edly the most renowned emperor of 
the early Han, Wu-ti (140-86 BC), was known as 
the Martial Emperor and waged most extrava- 
gant campaigns. By one of them he lost tens of 
thousands of men and horses in order to 
capture a breeding stock of the Ferghana 
steeds, so much larger and more beautiful than 
the sturdy steppe horses which the Chinese, 
like their nomad enemies the Scyths and 
s.irmatians, had hitherto employed. 

Wu-ti, however, was also an admirable ruler. 
He caused the construction of great canal 
systems, organized the iron and salt industries 
jiiei developed the famous Silk Road to the 
w est on which so much of the imperial wealth 
liepended. The Romans had by now come to 
appreciate this loveliest and most comfortable 
lit all textiles. They knew China as the Land of 
Silk. Caravans of silk-laden camels set out from 
the Han capital, through Kansu to Samarkhand 
and on to Antioch and the Mediterranean 
coast. Guard posts were set up along the route 
and Wu-ti waged war against the Hsiung-nu, 
always a danger to his northern provinces and 
tlie Silk Road. 

There are good written sources for the 
histt)ry of the Han -indeed there was a court 
111 storian Ssu-ma, castrated by Wu-ti for his 
L micisms but pemiitted to remain in office. 
"i e t owing to the funerary customs of the 
w ealthy, it is archaeology that can provide the 
must amazingly full, dazzling and intimate 


pictures ot the lift- of all classes in that age. 

In a numher ot ways it seems that the Han 
empire can better he eoiiiparei-l with those of 
the Near fcastern Kronze A);e rather than with 
contemporary- Rome In spite ot its religious 
philosophies it had not experienced the mental 
revolution ot Greek intellectual detachment 
and rationalism in the matter ot burial ot the 
elite with toil provision tor the enjoyment ot 
the good things and services ot this world \ot 
use in the next, it is obvious to compare Han 
China with the Egypt of the Old and New 
Kingdoms Confucius had been relieved bv the 
substitution of tomb figurines for the sacrificial 
holocausts ot Shang times. 

Already some very fine models were put m 
Ch'in tombs, but now they contained group 
models of all manner of men and women and 
animals set in houses and farms In one, with 
over two dozen painted clay figures, dancers 
and acrobats perform with a band of zither, 
pipes,gongs and drums 

The dead were also provided with 
sumptuous personal treasures. The Marquess 
of Tai, for example, who died in c.I60 BC,had 
been buried in a score of silk robes and cloaks, 
accompanied by fifty rolls of silk, exquisite 
lacquer work, wooden models of 162 servants 
of her household, as well as countless female 
accessories, cosmetics and false hair. The 
painted silk banner draping her coffin showed 

Bronze vessel oi Han l>>-t\ost v I'.h 

One of the lomb figurines 
of Han Dynasty times 
which replaced the 
sacrificial holocausts of the 


Superb textiles figured with 
grotesque humans, birds, 
animals and monsters were 
found in the Paracas 
NecropoUs in Peru^ 

the Marquess herself framed by dragons of a 
species still being portrayed under the rule of 
Chairman Mao. 

The burials that have won world fame are 
those of Liu Sheng, brother of Wu-ti, and his 
wife and cousin Tou Wan, who died some half 
century after the Marquess. They were found 
in close-fitting suits of thousands of pieces of 
jade linked with gold and had been provided 
with horses and carriages and many treasures. 
Among these none was more lovely than the 
gilt bronze lamp held by a kneeling lady. It had 
been given to Tou Wan by her grandmother, 
a powerful royal doWager, who had it designed 
for her own palace of Eternal Trust. 

In Japan people of the long-lived Jomon 
culture, in many areas still largely dependent 
on fishing, maintained their simple way of life 
through much of the Warring States era in 
China. Then, early in the third century BC, 
strong continental influences that included 
both Chinese and Korean elements began to 
enter Kyushu and to spread gradually eastward 
among the Jomon communities. The greatest 
change was in the adoption of rice-growing in 
regular paddy fields, but before long the potter's 
wheel was introduced, probably from Korea, 
and bronze weapons and bells were imported 
and soon also made locally. 

The resulting bronze -iron culture is known 
as the Yayoi. Its arrival may from the first have 

involved a considerable immigration, and 
certainly was in time to be associated with the 
mongolization of Japan-the mongolian 
element having been slight among the Jomon 
folk. The immigrants seem to have tended to 
form a ruling class, humble when compared 
with their Celtic contemporaries in Britain, but 
clearly marking the start of social stratification. 

This modest Yayoi aristocracy sometimes 
buried their dead in stone cist-graves of Korean 
type, but a more conmion custom was burial 
in large lidded jars, or opposed pairs of jars. 
Before the end of the period they might be 
furnished with imported Chinese bronze 
mirrors, glass beads, coins and weapons. 

The cultivators lived in villages near their 
rice fields in sturdy round or oval houses with 
heavy thatch supported on ridge poles, some- 
times with a upper roof over the ridge. For the 
storage of their rice they built substantial 
granaries raised on piles. After the long retard- 
ation due to their isolation, by the end of oiu" 
era the Japanese were evidently on their way to 
the literate civilization that would dawn in 
our next period. 

In Meso and South America, 500 BC -AD 1 
falls mainly within the Late Fomiative or Pre- 
Classic period in archaeological terms. Olmec 
civilization still persisted and its influence was 
widespread in Mesoamerica, but it was to 
decline and disappear with the abandonment 
or destruction of its ceremonial centres. 
Meanwhile, as the Olmec as a distinct tradition 
was coming to an end, that of the Maya was 
emerging more strongly. In the Guatemalan 
lowlands what was to become the grand Mayan 
ceremonial centre of Tikal had been founded 
by the beginning of the period and temples of 
plastered masonry were already being built 
there by 300 BC. 

At Monte Alban in the Oaxaca Valley of 
southern Mexico, we saw that the first stelae 
inscribed with hieroglyphs were probably set up 
in C.500 BC. Among the ceremonial buildings 
of this early capital of the Zapotec people was 
the pyramid platform called the Mound of the 
Dancers, after a well known series of contorted, 
naked figures incised on stone slabs. Instead of 
dancers, they may well represent mutilated 
sacrificial victims. They are associated with 
hieroglyphic inscriptions that already include 
the bar and dot numerals later to be used by the 
Maya as well as evidence for calendrical 
reckoning (p. 187). 

Meanwhile very significant advances were 
taking place in the Valley of Mexico. Its people 
had long lagged behind their southern 
neighbours, but were now taking the first 
tentative steps towards their future dominance. 

Fi$uie of a baby in typicdl 
Olmec style. The iniluence 
of their distinctive an ■.ivic 
persisud through! lu: 

Considerable temple huildiriK was undertaken 
- for example at Cuicuilco H) the southwest of 
the Rreat lake that filled the Basin In a side 
valley there was already some settlement at 
Teotihuacan,tlestined to become the magnifi- 
cent ceremomai capital of a powertul state. 

In South America the Chavm culture that 
had given a certain unity to Peru was breaking 
up, though it continued to flourish for a time in 
its own heartlands round Chavin de Huantar 
and also along the south coast. Here, as is 
shown by the cemetery of the I'aracas 
Necropolis with its mummified burials, the 
the most superb textiles were being woven for 
cloaks, shirts and other garments. They are 
figured with grotesque humans, birds, animals 
and monsters, all in the richest colours. There 
was some increase in the working of copper 
and gold omamcms-and goldsmiths were 
active also in Colombia. 

Towards the very end of the period there 
were signs of the creative change that was to 
flower in our last period. In Colombia the 
ceremonial centre of San Agustin had probably 
been founded, in Peru the Mochica and Nazca 
cultures were emerging on the coasts, and in 
the Bolivian Andes near Lake Titicaca the 
famous Tiahuanaco had already been settled, 
though still far from days its greatest. 

In North America there was considerable 
advance in the southwest, although it was not 

'i(X)HC-ADl I 

achieved until near the end of the period Then 
out of the old Cochise tradition, as better 
cultivation of maize and other plants allowed 
an increase in population, there grew flourish- 
ing farming societies with quite substantial 
villages. These belongeil in the mountainous 
regions to the Mogollon peoples, and in the hot 
deserts of Arizona to the Hohokam. In these 
desert lowlands irrigation was necessary from 
the first, and it is clear that there was at this 
time a very strong influence, if not an actual 
immigration, from Mexico. A well known 
settlement of the early Hohokam people is 
Snaketown on the Gila river near Tucson. Here 
Mexican borrowings can be seen in cotton 
textiles, figurines, ornaments such as nose and 
ear plugs, and in time in the construction of a 
ballcourt and ceremonial mounds. Both 
Mogollon and Hohokam people were to 
develop excellent painted pottery. 

In the east the life of the Woodland mound- 
builders did not show any very significant 
change, although a branch of it known as the 
Hopewell culture had evolved by about 200 BC 
and evidently prospered, since its creators were 
able to import such materials as obsidian, mica 
and shells over quite long distances. The 
Woodland people of the whole Ohio-Mississippi 
region continued to devote themselves to the 
piling of huge burial mounds and other earth- 
worksthat were probably ceremonial in purpose. 


Technology 500 BC -AD 1 

Technological progress in our last two chapters 
depends almost entirely on engineering as no 
new raw material was exploited during this 
time. Advances in iron working, however, were 
responsible for one of the few new means of 
production - that of blowing glass. Previous 
materials had been unsuitable for the 
necessary tubes. 

Social factors were largely responsible for 
the lack of technical innovation among the 
Greeks, for instance, but mechanical devices, 
such as the water organ, fire engine and steam 
turbine were produced in great numbers, even 
if they were treated like toys. More practical 
developments were the Archimedean screw, 
cogwheels, pulleys, pumps, levers, lathe and 
valve bellows which were adapted for various 

In Athens, Alexandria and other centres, 
scientists and scholars such as Hero, Ctesibius 
and Philo studied and designed equipment for 
both military and civilian purposes. They also 
wrote engineering manuals and interested 
themselves in logic, astronomy and 
navigational problems. 

China under the Han dynasty produced 
another technological explosion. Their most 
important single contribution was the 
invention of the horse collar, which along with 
shafts and traces resulted in the first efficient 
harnessing of the horse's strength. Iron workers 
using improved bellows achieved temperatures 
high enough for the casting of their metal 
many centuries before this could be done in 
Europe. The crossbow, with its cocking and 
trigger device, and the wheelbarrow well 
demonstrated Chinese ingenuity at this period. 

Great progress, too, was made in the New 
World. In Mexico the Olmecs devised a 
remarkable and highly effective calendar and 
glyphic script. Their Calendar Round was a 
numerical way of dividing the year: two 
interlocking cycles of 20 numbers and 18 
months gave, with the addition of five extra 
days a 365 day year In Colombia metallurgy 
was being perfected in gold, silver, copper 
and alloys. In Peru the major developments 
were in the form of major works of irrigation 
and terracing. 

Another advance which, though increasing 
the efficiency of investment of effort, can only 
marginally be considered technological, was in 
the matter of imperial administration. Where 
the Assyrians had failed, the Persians 
succeeded, and the Macedonians and Romans, 
and not forgetting the Han, improved even on 
their efforts. 

The Americas 

Pottery was often made in 
moulds m this area, as the 
specimens from Peru and 
Ecuador show. Carved shells 
were also used as containers. 
Writmg in the form of 
hieroglyphs made its 
appearance in the Mayan areas. 





1 1 1 -.,^*^.^l 

i^t 1 1 1 

Stone Copper Bronze Iron 


Egypt, Eastern, 
Western Mediterranean 

The spread of Hellenism and 
then of the Roman armies 
produced a similar technology 
in the three Mediterranean 
regions. The steam turbine and 
hydraulic organ demonstrate 
the Greek mind at its most 
inventive while more practi- 
cally useful for time telling and 
field irrigation were the water 
clock and Archimedes screw. 
Older skills, often in improved 
forms, are represented by the 
shield and body armour, the 
furniture (in stone and bronze 
as wellas woodi and the 
trireme (developed from the 
bireme by the addition of a 
third bank of oars). More 
widely applied were the 
improved grape press, lathe 
and miUtary catapult, all 
exploiting new principles or 
new applications of old ones 

Cuntincnial Europe 
The IXibittK wjKon shows thi 
level ot (cchiiiiloiciejl cx|H'rtis 
jchii'vcj bv 'bjrh.irun" 
huriipc lri>ii wasscncr-il lur 
swor lis .iiul spt-ars, anil eviii 
plmiKhsh.iris jiul ilclicui- 
surKiLjl mstriiincnts \»i k imv 
Iviii); produn-d iii ili.ii iiui il 
Hri'H.i. was slill used liiiwe\ 1 1 




The camel, in both the one and 
two humped torms, was the 
most imponant means ot 
transpon Comage also 
emphasizes trade movements 
throuRh the area The 
distinctive sword scabbard, 
however, continues an older 
tradition ot decorated 

Far E«>( 

The cast iron implements and 
complicated crossbow are only 
some ot the wide ranKe ot 
product* encountered under 
the inventive Han dynasty 
The chariot was continued, 
the model cookinK stove beinn 
a contemporary appliance 

T^f^ri ' ^ ni'Ff/M'nn ' Ailiiiimik ' i^ ^ 

While evidence of metallurgy 
or other technical expertise is 
lacking, an extremely varied 
range of pottery has been 
preserved. This includes 
highly competent Northern 
Black Polished Ware as well as 
coarse iars subsequently used 
for lining soakaways. 


Persia's major contribution 
was in the field of imperial 
organization. Its coinage, 
such as the Darics of the 
Achaemenid royal house, 
were accepted from the 
Aegean to India, and 
symbohzed the peaceful 
movement of trade over 
vast distances. Minted 
money did not, of course, 
disappear with the Persian 
Empire; Alexander and his 

striking their own pieces, 
and with Persian independ 
ence under the Parthians, 
local issues resumed again 
Trade was also enhanced in 
this difficult terrain by 
more widespread use of 
both the one and two- 
humped camel which 
greatly faciUtated transport. 

Egypt, Eastern, 
Western Mediterranean 

The trireme was merely a 
bigger and better bireme 
with a third bank of rowers 
and composite keel. The 
number of oarsmen varied 
between 120 and 200, 
and those in the third 
bank sat furthest inboard. 
Presses for grapes and 
olives were much improved 
by incorporating the prin- 
ciples of lever, pulley and 
winch. The catapuh repre- 
sents a whole range of 
military weaponry powered 
by rope torsion, but with 
few applications elsewhere. 
Though not very efficient, 
the water clock was the best 
attempt until very much 
later to measure the passage 
of time. Archimedes, the 
greatest engineer of his age, 
developed the screw pump 
to lift water from mines. 
Hero of Alexandria 
developed a device for 
opening temple doors using 
hot air but his "steam 
engine" was considered by 
many to be no more than a 
scientific toy 


Continental Europe 
The Dcibicrs wumm lri>m 
LX.-nmjrk incorporates a 
number ot improvements 
on previous vehicles such 
as 14-spokcd vtfheels with 
multipiece felloes and 
lavish bronre plate ilctora 
turn The CcUic craHsmcn 

introduced a roller bcurinx 
ot wooden pins in a bronze 
race, to lacilitate the turn- 
uiK lit the wheel on its axle 
A Miiiplcr and more obvious 
development can be seen 
in the plouKh - where iron 
was probably used to pre- 
" Hhc 

plouKh trum excessive wear 
rather than to case Its 
passage throuKh the soil 
Betore lonn an even more 
siKniticani improvemeni 
was made - the addition ot 
a coulter |a heavy knife 
blade, which cut the sod for 
turning the furrowl 

Iron plough 

The potlerv -Imed soakaway 
pits, and even the highly 
competent nonhem black 
polished ware show that 
material technological 
equipment made httle pro- 
gress. Advances in 
theoretical knov^edge 
however, were of enormous 
importance, particularly in 
the field of mathematics. 
It was here that the efficient 
use of the zero sign in 
conjunction with positional 
notation was first perfected, 
making figures a tool for 
calculation, not just a 
method of recording 

Far East 

In China profcress in the 
casting ot iron led to 
socketed torms <it axes 
which differ greatly in com- 
parison with the wrought 
iron forms of the wen. 
Greater skills were required 
in producing these tools 
but they suffered from a 
certain brittleness of the 
material The iron, in effect, 
merely strengthened and 
protected the edge of what 
were really wooden tools - 
a very economical use of 


the metal Inventiveness is 
even more apparent in the 
development of the cross- 
bow, with which the 
defenders of the Great 
Wall kept the desert 
nomads at bay This is most 
apparent in the trigger 
mechanism which gave an 
efficient arrow It 
was cast in bronze in three 
ingeniously interlocking 
parts This weapon was far 
superior to the composite 
bow due to its easier 
loading and greater range. 


Writing, in the form of 
glyphs, made considerahK 
progress While it can- 
not be read, the system toi 
recording numbers has 
been fully deciphered. It 
ciinsists of three symbols 
(inly, a dot for one, a bar for 
live and a shell for zero - 
thus the figure at the 
bottom of the accom- 
panying illustration is 8. 
The main purpose of this 
~ vstem was to record dates 

:i the Calendar Round. 

I wo interlocking cycles of 
20 numbers and 18 

months" gave (plus 5 extra 
days), a 365 day year. 

Nuniericii/ hieroglyph 

Architecture 500 BC-ADl 

Once the major structural and aesthetic 
problems of the Greek temple had been solved, 
the formula could be repeated indefinitely on 
any site and at any scale, with variation limited 
to stylistic decoration. In particular, the leafy 
Corinthian capital achieved immediate popu- 
larity. With the spread of Hellenistic civiliza- 
tion around the Mediterranean, east to the 
Punjab and west to the Atlantic, this most 
typical of Greek buildings was carried with it. 
Much more interesting for its later significance 
was the development of the Greek theatre, 
which posed a new set of problems that called 
for new answers. There was no difficulty where 
a suitable hillside could be carved into shape. 
Where only a level site was available, the 
structure had to be built up, and the properties 
of the arch had to be explored for this purpose. 
In Italy there was not always good limestone, 
so that brick and concrete had to be investigated 
as substitutes. 

Improvements in old techniques were 
being perfected in Europe also. Earthen 
ramparts were made more stable and more 
formidable by means of various systems of 
timber lacing and facing. At the same time, 
they developed from refuges into towns or 
oppidfl, with a corresponding elaboration of 
the timber architecture within them. 

In the Middle East, the city of Persepolis 
marks the peak of local architectural develop- 
ment, with its monumental stairways and 
pillared halls. Persepolis is famous for its 
architectural sculptures which lined the stair- 
ways showing processions of nobles, courtiers 
and tribute -bearers. 

In India the new religion of Buddhism 
provided the impetus for temples and 
monuments to house the sacred relics. The 
rock-cut chaitya halls and stupas were the 
result. Hellenistic influences came through 
Bactria and Gandara at an opportune moment 
to affect the Indian religious, architectural 
and artistic development. 

In China, most building contmued in 
timber, doubtless in grander and more lavish 
versions as the Han Dynasty centralized the 
country's wealth. There are interesting tomb 
models but little more, until one reaches the 
frontier of the empire. There the Great Wall 
was completed to keep out nomadic raiders. 

In Mesoamerica the ceremonial centre 
of Tikal was begun and temples of plastered 
masonry were being built. Pyramid platforms 
were constructed by the Zapotcc people while 
in the Valley of Mexico considerable temple 
building was undertaken. 

The Americas 

I'littery iiKidtK from Ecuador 

buddings but houses trum 
Mochc in the desert area 
further south have themselves 
survived. In Mesoamerica 
impressive temple platforms 
were built of stone. 

Western Med 

Greek temple 

chitecturc \ 
St, though 

oiiK and I'racneste. Houses 
e more typically Roman. 
Temple atTharros reflects 
contribution of another 
ure to that area -that of 


1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 ! 


Eastern Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 

Mud- Baked 

Coniincnul Europe 
IVolcctivc settlements were 
widespread over this area I he 
crjnnug .11 Milton Luch wa> an 
artilicial umber based island 
the broch nl Mousj a dr^■stone 
tower, the Heunebers .1 hill fort 
o> earth and mudbnck 

Eastern Mediterranean 

The principles ot Greek 
temple .irchitecture are most 
widely recognized in the 
Parthenon The IVopylca, 

ntrance to the 
Athens Acropolis, belonKs to 
the same tradition In the 
•Xanthos monument these 
principles have been modified 
while the theatre at tpidaurus 
represents another line of 
Greek architectural 


Far Eaii 

The Great Wall ol China and 
some eontem|H)tarv timibs 
have survived due to massive 
masonry or subterranean 
location Tottery models and 
tiles provide evidence ot less 
permanent ■itnirnin-- 



The Hellenistic tradition is 
clearly seen in the Pharos at 
Alexandria. Up the Nile, 
however, native temple 
architecture prevailed at such 
sites as Philae, Kom Ombo 
and Edou. 


The city ot Persepolis and 
Darius' palace torm the most 
famous sites of the area and 
period One innovation was 
the animal forms on 
sculptured column capitals. 
At nearby Nakshi-Rustam, 
Darius' tomb was cut into the 
cliffs but a different style is 
apparent in the Lycian tomb. 


The Mauryan Empire, with its 
capital at Pataliputra and its 
origins at Magadha was 
responsible for the revival of 
monumental architecture in 
India Its greatest monument 
is probably the stupa at Sanchi, 
the finest of many. Also shown 
is a humbler example from the 
Swat Valley. 


Darius built Persepolis as a 
capital for his vast empire 
The city was built on a 

rock terrace and 
although the mudbrick 
buildings and enclosing wall 
no longer sur\'ive, some of 
the supporting columns, 
sculptures and relief- 
decorated stairways still 
remain. Othi 
carvings are evident on thi 
monumental facade of 
Darius' tomb at Naksh- 

Contincnul Europe 

The brotli .it Mousa, 
Shctljnd, Scotljiul, like 
Dthcr struLiiiri> developed 
in Mmil-ir circuin>tanccs 
(the nurjKlii ol Sardinia), 
was a defensive stronghuld, 
arelUKe tnrasmall 
eoninuinitv in a rcpon o< 
plentitul stone The broch 
IS a circular tower ot two 
skins ot unmortared stone, 
allowtn); a stair to wind up 
between the two to a 
parapet walk at Mousa 
I over Wit il2 ml above the 
I ground A single small 
j doorwav opens to the 
I outside The interior court 
was surrounded by timber 
lean-to structures agamst 
i the stone wall The hilltort 
j and wooden houses at the 
I Heuneberjs had more 
i complicated defences 
I .\(ter a double bank and 
ditch wnth earthen cause- 
way the western wall was 
j constructed in the "timber- 
box ■ technique combining 
limber frame and stone 
rubble tilling The other 
surrounding settlement 
walls were ot sun-dried 
mudbrick on hmestone. 


The Great Stupa at Sanchi, 
Bhopal, was built about 240 
BCbvthe .Mauryan 
emperor .•\shoka. Its 
function was to house a 
relic of the Buddha and as 
such It IS distantly related 
to the barrows of central 
Asia and Europe, being 
equallv a funerary deposit 
beneath a hemispheric 
mound It was much 
enlarged to its present form 
under the Andhra dynasty, 
^2-25 BC, who also added 
the railings and gateways. 
Like the Egyptian pyramid, 
the Mesopotamian ziggurat 
or the .Mexican temple 
mound, a complicated 
symbolism is embodied, 
determining strictly the 
onentation and proportions 
of the monument However 
elaborate the design, the 
technical means of con- 
struction in all these cases 
were very simple The 
gateways tor example, are 
straight translations into 
stone of umber onginals 
The mound and railings are 
quite plain here, but the 
tour gateways at the 
cardinal points were 
lavishly decorated in relief 

Credt Stupa and gateway. 
Sanchi. Bhopal 


fottery house models from 
c 202 BC have been pre 
served in tombs although 
the light walled, timber 
(r.iiiud nru;iii lis no longer 




r.^cmtcmiincs I his 
monument is attributed to 
Ch'in-Shih-huang. Chin 
emperor of 2.12 BC While 
fortified boundaries 
between Chinese states h.i 
been built well before, he 
had the idea of loining up 
existing stretches into a 
continuous boundary for 
1920 miles I <2(M)Kml 



f 3^_^l/ J 

j^> ^MW^^^K 


' ■ . ';> *ij :.' - ^H 









The Great Wall r,l China 

The Americas 

A temple platform at 
Uaxactun shows the 
complexity of Mayan archi- 
tecture by the Chicanel 
phase of about 300 EC. It 
has the characteristic apron 
mouldings and on each face 
the stairway is flanked by 

monster masks. The 
structure is 26 ft (8 ml 
high, and is of adobe coated 
with white plaster |stone 
being scarce in the area). 
The temple which had 
crowned the summit was a 
simple structure of poles 
and thatch. 

Timple platiorm. Uaxactun. Guatemala 


Art 500 BC -AD 1 

Greek art as it emerged into its full classic age 
must be given first place both for its own 
unique perfection and for its widespread and 
lasting influence. Having left behind archaic 
stiffness, Greek sculptors produced their 
works of a calm and idealized naturalism, often 
as an integral part of temples and other 
buildings. The red figure mode of vase painting 
had recently been devised by the Athenians, 
and now gave artists the flexibility to create 
the most exquisite figured and formally 
decorated ceramics the world has ever known. 
In the Hellenistic Age sculpture became more 
elaborate, dramatic and individual. 

Greek art continued to infludence many 
neighbouring peoples, including the Etruscans, 
whose art perhaps reached its peak c.500 with 
the fine terracottas of the sculptor Vulca at 
Veii, and after that tended to decline. 

The Romans, as their Greek inspired art 
developed in later Republican times, may also 
have learnt something from the Etruscans. By 
the end of the period their sense of personality 
was evident in fine portrait sculpture and they 
were beginning to paint attractive landscapes. 
The Roman art of mosaic began in the fifth 
century BC. Greek, and to a less extent 
Etruscan influence, was important in the first 
inspiration of the La Tene art of the Celts that 
flourished all through this period. 

In Egypt, even under the Ptolemies, Greek 
influence had little effect on the art,- outside 
Alexandria reliefs and other sculpture in the 
great temples of the age still show the ancient 
styles. In Achaemenid Persia, too, these 
influences were weak, the sculptors of Susa 
and Persepolis being far more indebted to 
Assyrian tradition. In the whole region from 
central Asia to eastern Europe affected by the 
Scyths and other nomads, there was a 
bewildering blend of Chinese, Persian and 
Greek elements mingled with the old animal 
style of the steppes. 

Indian sculpture revived in architectural 
reliefs and the famous Ashoka columns - 
where Persian influence was strong. Hellenistic 
Greeks greatly affected sculpture in the north- 
west. In China, while some fine tomb figures in 
bronze and clay were already being made in 
Ch'in times, it was with the Han that they 
became numerous and of great beauty. Lacquer 
work and painting on silk were also exquisite. 
In the Americas the late Olmec style was 
dying out, while Monte Alban and early 
Mayan sculpture was beginning. In Peru the 
minor arts of pottery and textiles almost attain 
to greatness. 

The Americas 

While the influence of the 
Olmec "baby face" style 
lingered on, growing points 
were now in upland Mexico, 
at Monte Alban and other 
places m Oaxaca and in the 
Peten where Mayan art was 
stirrmg. Fifth century Peru 
produced superb textiles. The 
Chavin pottery tradition 
persisted in some regions, and 
the coastal Mohica and Nazca 
cultures began late in the 

Western Mediterranean 

During the earlier centuries the 
Etruscans produced their 
sculpture and murals in which 
archaic Greek tradition tended 
to prevail over classic 
naturalism. The Capitoline 

k colunists 
; sculpture. 

^(K)HC:-ADI t 

Cuniincnial Euiopc 

III the Mh Lcniurv ihc L'cllit 
pci>plc> hi'KJii (he I'voluliiin lit 
thtir L.I IciK- ilttorjiivc jrt 
Ntvic Manv ol the liiux works 
III this, style were on wejpons 
and omamcnt!) ol the bst two 
tenturiesBC A.swtlljs 
jJjptiiiK Mime motils 
the t. elt> used Jiumjl lorms 
thji were still heiii^ hnlluiitlv 
exeeuteJ hv the Scvths and 


Eavicin Mcdiicriancan 
I'raxiiiUs, I vMppu.s-earved 
their mjsti ipiete:. both in 
Iree-jitandiiiK tlKure^ and 
temple pedimcnt!> and metopes 
-best known Irom the 
Parthenon and Olympia Red 
liKure vase painters produeed 
exquisite and lively scenes 
Irom mytholojn'and everyday 
lite Greek inlluence pre 
dominated throufchout the area 

Far Emi. 

In the China ul the I. h'ln and 
early Han dynasty, pottery 
tomb tiKurcs dcvclupcd charm 
and often beauty There were 
also exquisite small works in 
bronze and ladc The influence 
ot Chinese styles on the more 
easterly ot the nomads is seen 
in the marvellous Pazyryk finds 








Temples ot the period were 
unresuainably covered with 
rcliet sculpture in the tradi- 
tional manner, sometimes 
rather more sensual in leelinK 
An intensityingot animal cults 
encouraged small animal 
sculpture Greco-Roman 
inlluence shows in realistic 
portrait heads 

The sculptured Inezes of early 
Achaemenid Susa and 
Perscpolis plainly owe much to 
the Assyrian tradition - 
possibly coming also from 
Uratu Persian artist-crafts- 
pcople excelled in designing 
splendid ornaments and 
vessels for the banqueting 
table Something of the animal 
art ot the steppes still makes 
itsell felt 


Under the Mauryan empire 
architectural sculpture now 
appeared on Buddhist 
buildings and on the famous 
Ashoka column, some of which 
supported elephants, lions and 
bulls Here Persian influence 
was strong Free-standing 
figures ol YJkshis (nature 
spiritsi werccar\'ed 

500 BC-AD 1 


Persian Achaemenid 
princes used splendid 
vessels for their banqueting 
tables and dishes. Beakers 
with pairs of animal handles 
were among them, but most 
popular of all were drinking 
and libation horns with 
animal terminals-winged 
The low rehefs on the walls 
and stairways of Persepolis 
owe much to Assyrian art 

Eastern Medii 

Artists had an honourable 
in Greek society so 
that we know the names 
not only of sculptors such 
as Phidias and Praxitiles but 
also of many vase painters. 
Greek sculptors of the 

1 age increased the 
hsm and anatomical 

; of their figures. 
Most, even of their free- 
standing sculptures, were 
made for temples. Praxitiles' 
famous Hermes |340 BC) 
comes from the temple of 
Hera at Olympia.The 5th 
century saw the exquisite 
art of red-figure vase 
painters at Its best. 

Wall relief oi Mede and I'ctiun. I'cio. 


In this later end of their 
history, Egyptian sculptors 
continued to carve reliefs 
and sculptures in traditional 
forms. There was an increase 
in animal cults and hence in 
small animal figunnes. 
These representations show 
a keen observation of nature. 
Faience as well as stone and 
bronze were used for these 
figures, and attempts were 
made to capture the 
characteristics of the sacred 
animals in the various 
mediums. The female 
hippopotamus, Tauret 
(ThouerisI stood for 
fecundity and aid in child b 1 1 : 

Faience figure of Tamet 

Western Mediterranean 

.•\ftcr 50U BC Etruscan art 
began to decline, although 
mural paintings such as 
those from Tarqumian 
tombs perhaps now showed 
their greatest life and vigour 
The colourful wall paintings 
reflected the everyday life 
and customs of the 
Etruscans. Banqueting 
scenes perhaps expressed 
the hope that a good life 
would continue after death. 
Greek elements remained 
dominant not only in tomb 

paintings but in gems, 
pottery and bronze work, 
but the Etruscans tended to 
prolong the old archaic 
style, and they continued to 
produce excellent work in 
bronze and terracotta. Big 
sculptures in terracotta 
were produced for rehgious 
buildings m Etruna similar 
to the earlier Apollo of 
Veil (p. 147). 

Etruscan head 

Praxiteles' Hermes 

Greek vase showing 
Theseus and the Minotaur 


Continenul Europe 

The La Tcnc dctorjuvi .1 
stvic which the C'tlt-s 
developed in eentrjl jnd 
western Europe ttoni tin- 
Mh century BC 
owed somethmjs to Creek 
its, but these were Mu> 
turned into KrJcelu^ 
curvdmejr torms, bjUnced 
but jssymetricjl, such as 
those on the Battersea 
Shield |c lllDBC) Th 
la Ti-ne bronze llaKon with 
coral and enamel inlav 
showsthat the Celts 
borrowed also Irom Scvthic 
aniinalan The d 
on this wine vessel may 
rcHect a Celtic sense ol 
humour m that a tiny duck 
on the spout appears to be 
pursued by larger creatures 
on the lid and handle 

includinf(< felt applique 
wall hanKinK with a 

arrior The 
parcel Kilt bronze leopard 
inlaid with silver and 
Karnet.s was lound in the 
tomb ot l^inccss Tou Wan 
and was probably used as a 


Under the Mauryan dynasty 
sculpture in the form of 
stone carving on capitals 
and colossal female figures 
or yjkshji predominated 
A Ytikshi IS a native spirit of 
Dravidian origin and these 
carvings represent a purely 
Indian folk art, the Ashoka 
capitals being mainlv Creek 
in conception Techniques 
learned from earlier wood 
and ivory carvings were 
used in these early 
representations which were 
prototypes for later images 
of the Buddha. 

Yakshi. moulded tenacotu: 
plaque. Kausambi 

500 BC-AD 1 Summary Chart 




Events and developments 






Persian empire of the Achaemenids from 
639 BC. Alexander's conquests 334-323. 
Seleucid dynasty to 63. Rise of Parthians. 





Alexanders LnnqucsK.^IP.i-Mjii 
re-ccinquLM Ml I'lMlcni.UL dMi.iMv until 
Roman aiiiiLxaunn ^1 Hii\M.rin.v;iit trade 
and seholarshiiut Akxandna 












Eastern Mediterranean 



Greece repulses Persia 480 but succumbs 
to internecine wars. Rise of Maccdon. 
Struggle between successor states ended 
by Roman conquest. 

Philip of Macedt 













•^^/ o.. 

Western Mediterranean 







Celtic invasions and Roman advance 
destroy independence of Etruscans. 
Republican Rome then absorbs Greek 
colonies, overthrows Carthage and 
advances east, west and north to 
English Channel. 

Julius Caesar 
Cicero, Vergil 

Continental Europe 


m Greek and Etruscan 

r--:. £vv 




Persian conquest of I'unjab. Alexander's 
campaign. Maurvan Empire. Saka 
invasion. Establishment of caste system. 





Yayoi period in J 

II Ch'in dynasty 
unites China 206. 
1 e.300. 


Monte Alban 



Conquests by Monte Alban in C. Mexico 
Maya emerges to south. Local 


The economy bar gra 
relative proportions!. 

esc factors: 

iS; Agriculture"'?' Hunting"?^ Urban life cS Trade 4?^ 



Technology and invcntion\ 




ttficicnt irapiiul administraiion and 

Persian road building Pillared halls 
monumental Mairway at Persepolis 

Achaemenid art 
relicts, gold and, 
lewellervStvthian.irt, . 
Asiatic steppes 




Hellenistie ei% ili^ation unites these 
areas TeehnoloRv based on lull use ct 
wrought iron, meehanies on rope 
torsion, puUev levet. primitive serew 
and gears Lathe, valve bellows, first 
waterwheels. ulass blowing, 
Archimedean serew, map niakiMK But 
on the whole the brilliant inventiveness 
of Creeks especiallv of Alexandria eg 

completelv unexploned 

larlier traditions continue to deeline 
Greek styles introduced to Alexandria 

Native art gradually siipplante.lln 

Mvst.t%rcl.>:i..n>. c 
((.IrpliK aiul bliUMiiain 
^uk. i;riatcr hold 
rh.U.>..phv docl..p> 

Greek temple architecture develops n > 
peak, then turns to stylistic variations 
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian Theatres 

Peak of sculpture and vase painting 

reached early followed especiallv with 

latter bv rapid decline 

Greek drama ot Aeschylus, Sophocles, 

Euripides, Aristophanes 

Works ot Herodotus, Thucydides, 

Plato, AnstoUc 

Greek, rhocnicun 
and ttruicjn nods. 
Roman state Ki)ds, 
jtheeapitolmc triad. 
rule i:)ruidism, 
ucrcdKrovcs, human 
Mcriticc!,, offerings 

Greek temples widely copied. Brick 
and concrete architecture developed in 
Italv Earth and timber continue in use 

Etruscans adapt Creek sn to local taste 
in tomb and vase painting and statuary. 
Romans continue the process Greek 
art itselt declines steadily Phoenician 
restricted largely to metalwork and 

Works of Catullus, Horace, Livy, 
Cicero, Vergil, Ovid, Seneca. 

Loeal Kods, votive Spread of iron technology, sail 
oflermgs Bog bodies boiling, enamel, 
m Denmark and 

British hill fons, becoming oppida- 
towns Oppida through central Europe 

La Tine art develops in C Europe, 
spreads widely Thracian art develops 
m and around Bulgaria St vthian art in 


Brahm jnistn Iron technology Nonhem polished 

continues to develop black pottery. Writing reintroduced 

into Hinduism Knowledge and use of monsoon winds 

lamism Buddhism for navigation 

rises and spreads 

slowlv throughout 


Rock-cut temples Ichaityas), stupas. Magnificent stone carving associated 
Ashoka pillars City walls reappear particularly with Buddhist stupas and 

temples Greek influence through 




religion, especially 

Widespread use of cast iron. Great Wall ot China, road building End ol Chou art style Han more 
Crossbow invented. Buildings in timber and tile with naturalistic. Lacquer work, ceramics 

virtually no archaeological evidence esp. , ,.,llv ..,mh npures clligraphv 


' Irical religion 
■Uya Local 

Cyclical calendar devised by Olmecs Stone temples m Mexico, earlv Mava Olmec traditions surviving Elaborate 
Glyphs, forerunners ot writing temple plattorms Roulingbv eorbel textiles in Peru 
Goldwork in Colombia Irrigation and onlv Burial mounds and other earth 
terracing expand in S America works m .Mississippi basin 


Ceiling, of the Capella of the Baptistry of the Onhndox i 
Ravenna. Italy 

In these Mrst hvc centuries of our era the "shift to the west" Riven so 
much emphasis in the last two periods reached a chmax in power with 
the earlier Roman empire, but durinn the last hundred years had 
already been put into sharp, if temporary, reverse Even within the 
empire this reversal is well expressed hy Consiantine's creation ot 
C'onstaiUiiinple at the aiaieiit Clreek colony of Byzantium He had 
hoped It would be possible to rule the east from the city without losing 
Krip on the west, but this proved impossible The Romans had checked 
then conquered the Celtic barbarians, but could not hold out against 
the untamed Germanic peoples from beyond the northern frontiers. 
In the end it was to be the tenacity of Byzantium that was to make the 
revival of the Christian west possible. 

In a very different sense the triumph of Christianity, for the future 
Ik most important event of this period, was itself a manifestation of 
u swin); back towards the east. For here was a religion founded in the 
initic Levant and spread by a Creek from Anatolian Tarsus. 
Beyond the eastern frontiers of the empire, the Persian Sassanids 
crushed Rome's long-standing enemies the Parthians (in AD226) 
claiming to be the true descendants of the Achaemenids. 

India was first invaded by the Kushans,a branch of the Hueh-chi 
nomads who, however, soon settled down, their kings becoming 
Buddhist and also patrons of Sanskrit scholarship. Buddhism had by 
now become a saviour religion and Buddha a divinity. The Kushans 
were eclipsed by the Gupta Empire, founded by a second Chandragupta 
at just about the time that Constantine adopted Christianity. It was an 
ideal regime under which Hinduism was at its greatest and the visual 
arts,literature and science flourished in conditions ot pious prosperity. 
It was probably during the lifetime of Jesus that Buddhism began to 
reach China from India. Although the great Han Empire did not break 
up until 220 and its artists were still capable of producing such master- 
pieces as the famous "flying" horses from a general's tomb at Wu-wei, 
it was weakening and with it (temporarily! the Confucian ideal. 
Buddhist teaching therefore found ready listeners. After the collapse of 
the Han Dynasty, followed by internal strife and the occupation of the 
north by nomads, it encouraged a withdrawal from public duties for a 
life of contemplation of nature and a cultivation of the fine arts of 
poetry, painting and calligraphy These were to flourish particularly 
under the southern dynasty of East Ch'in, almost contemporary with the 
Gupta of India. Partly through their colony in Korea and partly by 
direct contact the Han built up a luxury trade with Japan. At first Japan 
consisted of a number of rival kingdoms, but in time that of Yamato won 
the hegemony. In about AD 400 its rulers adopted the Chinese language 
and script for official purposes, starting Japan on the road to literacy. 

This period is the first in which the Americas demand a leading place. 
It witnessed the first attainment of high civilization in Mesoamerica 
and of its dawn also in South America. It is, indeed, one of the most 
striking features of a study of contemporaneity that by the later 
centuries of this period the first civilizations in Mesoamerica were 
reaching their peak just when the Roman empire was falling to ruin. 

The coincidence is given piquancy by the fact that the New World 
reached this high civilization while technologically very backward. 
No form of wheel was ever to be in practical use there and all 
impressive material achievements were the work of human muscle. 
The Maya had no metals throughout their Classic Age, learning their 
use only later when metallurgy spread up from the south. In Peru and 
Colombia gold, silver, copper and tin had been worked since the 
previous period. Even there mining methods, furnaces and other 
equipment remained primitive. 

The artists of the Han empire 
were capable of producing 
such masterpieces as the 
flying horses found in 
Wu-wei even while the 
dynasty was on the verge 
nf collapse. 

The Roman empire was at 
its greatest extent during 
the reign of Trajan (98-n7i. 
By this tune Britain had 
been occupied and Rome's 
eastern boundary stretched 
from the Caspian to the 
Red Sea after his conquest 
of the Dacians. The Romans ' 

mastery of the Western 
world is held to begin at 
20! BC when Sicily. Corsica. 
Sardinia and southern 
Spain were added to the 
empire after two wars 
with the Carthaginians. 
/n 44 BC. the time of fuhus 
Caesar's death. Gaul, most 

of the Iberian peninsula. 
Greece, a good part of Asia 
Minor and some coastlands 
along the Black Sea had 
been annexed. During the 
rejgn of Augustus. Judea 
and Egypt became provinces 
and Europe was penetrated 
as far as the Danube. 

In parts of Mexico the Zapotecs were enlarging 
Monte Alban, while the people of Teotihuacan 
built their huge pyramids of the Sun and Moon 
early in the period. Both places were true cities 
as well as ceremonial centres: Teotihuacan 
probably reached a population of well over 
100,000, including many specialist craftspeople. 
The people of Cholula (Pueblo) perhaps a 
colony of Teotihuacan, raised the largest 
pyramid of all -180 feet (55 4m) high and 
covering 25 acres. Meanwhile, down on the 
Gulf coast to the north of the former Olmec 
territory, a large administrative and religious 
centre with temples, pyramids and palaces 

It was the Maya who were to surpass them 
alias intellectuals, builders and artists. Their 
Classic Age opened in about AD 300-once 
again in chronological line with the East Ch'in, 
the Gupta and the adoption of Christianity by 

Most of the mighty works of Maya 
architecture visible today date from after 500, 
but owing to the strange practice of adding 
skin after stone skin to their buildings, many 
contain original versions of earlier date. The 
cradle of the advanced Mayan civilization was 
in the Peten lowlands of Guatemala and part 
of Mexican Chiapas. There it was that the 

glyphic writinj; ;iiii.l calendar cults were hrst 
developed ami where, there tore, the intellectual 
life ot pnestly astrononKr-mathematicians 
was most subtle and ailvanced The earliest 
known Mavan calendar stone is at Tikal in the 
I'eten and dates troni the year AD 292; at 
nearby Uaxactun the oldest is -<28,and away to 
the east at Copan,46l) Bv this last date Mavan 
sculptors had developed their tine and 
distinctive style 

In South America the local cultures ot the 
end ot our last period now emerged as 
organized states. As in Mesoamerica, though 
usually on a smaller scale and lacking 
architectural style, there were ceremonial 
centres serving scattered tarming populations 
A northerly example at San Agustin, Colombia, 
has mounds and sculptures that still show the 
fearsome jaguar features of Chavin times 
The Mochica in the coastal valleys of northern 
Peru built large adobe pyramid-mounds. 
Although like all the South Americans they 
had no writing, they speak to us now through 
their superb modelled pottery, with its 
portrayals of everyday life, pleasant and 
unpleasant. In southern Pcai the Nazca 
preferred to paint their vessels with animals, 
monsters and divinities. Gold, silver and 
copper were freely used for ornaments, and tlu 
Mochica used bronze for some of their tools. 

The one centre, however, that comes close 
to rivalling those of Mesoamerica, is the 
famous Tiahuanaco on Lake Titicaca, 13,000 
feet (4000m) up in the Bolivian Andes. Here 
was a great temple complex entered through 
the massive, monolithic "Gateway of the Sun!' 
Architectural development had certainly 
begun in this present period and it is not 
impossible that the gate was hewn before its 
end. The rigure at the centre is the "staff god" 
of ancient tradition. 

So by the year 500, when Rome and its 
western empire had collapsed and still 
barbarian peoples seized control over most of 
Europe and North Africa, the Maya and other 
peoples of Mesoamerica and Peru and adjacent 
lands were still advancing towards the heights 
of their various civilizations. If these seem to 
us strange and remote when compared with 
those of the Old World, that is largely due to 
our inability to read much of the Maya script 
and to the lack of writing elsewhere. 

Was there also something more brutal and 
sinister about them- 1 used to think that there 
was,particulariy those of Middle America, 
with their terrible divinities distinguished by 
skulls and flayed skins and an appetite tor 
eating human hearts There is something 
threatening and perverse in their art, even the 

Thi5 iiiixic/ of II M(>t fiK u 
Wiirniit i\ tirtwed lor biittir 

III (iiiiii (iriii /i('/iiit-( iiri(/ 


. I'vramidoflhcSunwas 

• ■ 't the huiac ceremrmial 

• irc atTeotihuactinwhosc 
Ihiputiilion was probably at 
least 100.000 individuals 

Ki)iiiji] ^id.s,', /ux with snakt 
thread decoration. 

best Maya works, some of which are very 
beautiful. And it is a fact that rehgious sadism 
1 ncreased, reaching its height, of course, after 
the Aztec conquests of fourteenth-fifteenth 
centuries. The great square of Montezuma's 
capital of Tenochtitlan had its rack of 
sacrificial skulls when the Spaniards entered 
it. At least rne can say the Sumerians and 
Egyptians of 3000-2000 BC and the Chinese of 
500 BC-AD 1 grew more humane and gave up 
their religious immolations. Yet anyone who 
has followed these eight steps of time must be 
appalled by the ceaseless slaughter and 
cruelties of Old World warfare. Was anythmg 
the Aztecs were to do much worse than the 
brutahties of the Roman arena in this present 
period? Perhaps the answer is that while in 
their art, through which alone they can address 
us, the Americans were uninhibited in 
displaying their sadism, they manifested so 
little of the counterbalancing virtues of 
humanity Little or none of the intimacy, gaiety 
and love of nature of the Egyptians, the lively 
enjoyment of the Minoans,the lofty ideahsm 

of the Greeks, or the humanity and dignity of 
the Romans is apparent. 

The main historical interest of AD 1-500 
must be the counterpoint of the Roman Empire 
and Christianity: the still expanding Roman 
Empire, so great and seemingly secure when 
Augustus died in AD 14 during Jesus' youth; 
Christianity growing and spreading within it 
like a creeping plant, yet still seeming no more 
than a minor nuisance when first-second 
century emperors tried their persecutions; 
intellectual stiffening of Christian theology 
with Greek philosophy and an increase of 
converts of high social rank after AD 200; the 
coming together of the two themes when 
Christianity was accepted as the official 
religion of the empire; the fall of Rome to the 
Goths seen by Augustine in North Africa as 
an act of God, and the part played by the 
churches' institutions in conserving something 
of classical culture for Christendom. 

Looking back upon the five centuries, this 
dramatic contrapuntal form is conspicuous, 
but it would have been a great seer indeed 

The decoration on the 
engraved bronze Desborough 
Mirror continued earher 
La T&ne and Celtic styles. 
It may have belonged to a 
woman of high position, of 
whom there were many in 
Celtic society. Similar 
mirrors and ornaments have 
been found in burials. 

who could have recognized it much belnre the 
midpoint oJ the period 

The first century ot the empire is crowded 
with tamous names and events-even it many 
of them have become so throu>;h excessive 
popular interest in the wickedness ot certain 
emperors hi the last years ot his reign, 
Augustus tried to advance his northern 
frontier from the Rhine to the Elbe with the 
intention ot shortening it The Germanic tnbes 
annihilated Varus and three Roman legions in 
AD 9 and in spite ot the quite successful 
counter-attack by Gernianicus begun in the 
year of Augustus' death, the Rhine frontier had 
to be accepted. At the eastern extremity of his 
realm, Augustus was still having trouble with 
the Parthians, and, although of a very different 
kind, with the lews. The Romans were prepared 
to do what seemed to them reasonable to 
accommodate the strange exclusiveness and 
fanaticism of )ewish religion and to give its 
people degrees of self-government. However, 
complaints against the rule of a son of Herod 
the Great were so troublesome that in AD 6 
Augustus removed him and Judea was united 
with Syria under Roman governors. Herod 
Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee. 

When Tiberius succeeded his great 
kinsman as the second emperor, he was already 
56,tacitum and without Augustus' political 
tact, purpose and prestige. He was soon in 
trouble with the senate and still more with 
other members of his imperial (Julio-Claudian) 
family. The first great events of the Christian 
story fall within his reign. He had just (AD 27) 
made the mistake of quitting Rome for Capri 
(where his supposed debaucheries were to be 
made the most of by Tacitus) when John the 
Baptist began preaching by the Jordan. 

The crucifixion of Jesus is thought to have 
been in 29,30 or 33 at a time when Herod 
Antipas had gone down to Jerusalem for the 
Passover. Paul's conversion was in c.35. Over 
the next dozen years he was preaching and 
shaping his own ideas mainly in Damascus, 
Antioch and Tarsus. 

Meanwhile, Tiberius had died at Capri in 
37 and been succeeded by Caligula, son of 
Germanicus. Already the next year this 
unbalanced young man enraged Jews 
throughout his empire by his edict that all 
must pay him divine honours. He sought and 
succeeded in pleasing the Roman mob with 
brutal shows in the arena. If only a few of the 
tales of perverse atrocities he staged are true, 
he was an unrivalled sadist, while his 
megalomania was such that the story of his 
senatorial horse does not seem impossible. 
In 40, after putting down a Gaulish revolt, 

Caligula made preparation tor an invasion ot 
Britain, but his troops mutinied and he was 
assassinated in the following year His uncle 
Claudius, who thus unexpectedly was raised 
to the purple, revived the plan, and being a 
shrewd and capable as well as somewhat 
grotesque human being, he promptly executed 
it. Much ot southeastern Britain had been 
united and ruled from Colchester 
(Camulodunum) by the Belgic king best 
known as Cymbeline-but more correctly as 
Cunobelin who had become king in about 
AD 10. He was probably grandson of 
Cassivellaunus,a powerful tribal leader, who 
had opposed Julius Caesar nearly a century 
before. There had been many political contacts 
between British kings and Rome, while Roman 
merchants made good profits in exchanging 
wine, ceramics, glass and trinkets for the 
British corn, cattle, gold, silver, iron, hides, 
slaves, hounds and pearls. 

Cunobelin died in about 41, and his son 
Caratacus,with a brother, began to extend 
their kingdom at the expense of neighbouring 
tribes and even to threaten trouble in Gaul. 
When one of the defeated kinglets (Verica) 
fled to Rome, he provided an obvious excuse 
for invasion that chimed in well with Claudius' 
wish for glory, the need to keep certain 
Rhineland legions out of mischief, and hopes 
for exploiting Britain's mineral wealth. One 
other small motive there may have been; the 
Romans did not extend their normal religious 
toleration to the savage rites of the Druids, 
and had been trying to stamp them out in Gaul. 
Britain, and particularly Mona (Anglesey), 
was the recognized home of Druidism. 

So in AD 43 the Roman army crossed from 
Boulogne to Richborough, meeting no serious 
opposition until the British confronted them 
on a river line, probably at Rochester on the 
Medway.The Romans won a two-day struggle, 
the Britons still using chariots directly 
descended from the originals of 2000-1000 BC. 
Soon Claudius was summoned to enter 
Camulodunum as a conqueror. He arrived with 
some of the Praetorian Guard and a show of 
elephants-the first of the genus elcphas to set 
their large feet on British soil since the Ice Age. 
Camulodunum remained the temporary 
capital and a temple for the divine Claudius 
was built there. 

Caratacus withdrew to Wales to rouse the 
tribespeople to resist, and they in turn enlisted 
the Brigantes of Yorkshire, with the result that 
the conquest of upland Britain was to take 
several decades-and was never of course to 
reach Ireland or the Scotrish highlands. 
Caratacus was finally betrayed by the 

Nero started his reign with 
good intentions hut his 
personal instability and the 
evil atmosphere around him 
exposed him to all the 
corruptions of power. 

Brigantine queen Cartamandua and paraded 
in Rome. There he asked the famous question 
"Why do you, with all these great possessions, 
still covet our poor huts?" 

Meanwhile the southern lowlands were 
quickly subdued, the hillforts proving unable 
to withstand the Roman military. Legate of 
Legion II was the future emperor Vespasian, 
who captured a score of such strongholds, 
including mighty Maiden Castle in Dorset. 
There and at many other places the native 
capitals were moved down to lower ground 
where Roman-style towns could be built. 
Soon the old Celtic warrior aristocracy had 

The political military' and 
administrative skills of 
Augustus were largely 
responsible for the 
continuing expansion of 
the Roman Empire. When 
he died in AD 14 there was 
no apparent reason why the 
Empire should not last 
indefinitely, so powerful 
and secure did it seem. 

exchanged their "poor huts" for villas. 

During the years after 43, when the 
Romans were finding the conquest of Britain 
not altogether easy. Saint Paul was making his 
great journeys as missionary to the "gentiles" 
in Syria, Anatolia and Greece. It was during the 
third, starting in about 51, that he stayed in 
Ephesus and got into dire trouble with the 
imagemakers of Artemis, that Goddess who 
had been so powerful in Anatolia since her 
days in the Catal Huyuk of our second period. 
In spite of Roman disapproval, the hatred of 
orthodox Jews and their own dissensions. 
Christian communities were multiplying all 
round the eastern Mediterranean-and in 
Rome itself. 

Claudius had no luck with his wives. The 
third, the beautiful young nymphomaniac 
Messallina, bore him a son (named Britannicus 
in honour of the new conquest) before she was 
executed for intrigue and depravity. The fourth, 
his niece, persuaded him to set aside 
Britannicus as his successor in favour of her 
own son by a previous marriage. To clinch the 
matter she had Claudius poisoned. In this 
auspicious fashion, Nero became Emperor. 

Through the influence of his tutor, Seneca, 
Nero started his reign with the intention of 
restoring the good government of Augustus. 
But, as with his uncle Caligula, his personal 
instability and the evil atmosphere in which 
he had always lived exposed him to all the 
corruptions of power. The murder of his 
mother and execution of Seneca and his wife 
(after he had become infatuated with Poppaea) 
were only the most personal of his cruelties. 
He was popular with the mob for indulging 
them with even more "bread and circuses" 
and by his public displays of himself as 
musician, poet and charioteer. He had at least 
one imperial success, a compromise settlement 
with the Parthiansinthe struggle over Armenia. 

The Parthian campaign partly coincided 
with disaster in the extreme west. Oppression 
by officials administering the subject parts of 
Britain provoked Boudicca (Boadicea), queen 
of the East Anglian tribe of the Iceni, to revolt. 
This occurred in AD 60, or 61, at the very 
moment when the Roman governor had 
crossed to Anglesey and amid wild scenes 
destroyed the Druids and their sacred groves. 
Before they were ruthlessly put down, the 
rebels had slaughtered some 70,000 people at 
Camulodunum, Londinium and Verulamium 
(St Albans). In defeat, Boudicca took poison. 
(While It is correct that the queen would have 
ridden to war in a chariot, it would not have 
been as massive as the vehicle of her memorial 
on Westminster Bridge, nor would it have had 

'•f.the Year oi the Four 
Lmperors or Tetrarchs. 
brought the iwhjppy 
Tcveliitions that the imperial 
re could be bestoned 
c jrmy nr seized bv 
. riul senerals. 

scythes on its wheels). 

Events leading up to another tragic death 
of a contrasting kind coincided with that of 
Boudicca. On Saint Paul's return from his third 
great mission, his Jewish enemies in Jerusalem 
obliged the Roman authorities to arrest him 
and hold him in "protective custody." There 
followed his appeal to Caesar (Nero), the long 
voyage and shipwreck on Malta, then two 
years of "free custody" in Rome before his trial 
and execution. 

Nero's persecution of the Christians was 
during the year 64-65, following the terrible 

fire in Rome. The story that Nero fiddled while 
the city burneil probably comes from his public 
performances as a musician: it certainly 
appears to be quite untrue His many enemies 
did, however, spread the rumour that he had 
instigated the hre and then, according to 
Tacitus, "Nero tabrieated .scapegoats -and 
punished with every refinement the 
notoriously depraved Christians, as they were 
popularly called. Their deaths were made 
farcical. Dressed in wild animals' skins they 
were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified,or 
madeintotorches...". Traditionally both 
St Peter and St Paul lost their lives at this time 
-but Paul's execution may in fact have been 
earlier It was in this Rome of corruption and 
persecution that St Mark wrote his gospel. 

Soon after the end of this first Roman 
persecution of Christians and five years after 
Houdicca's uprising, the empire was shaken by 
.mother revolt. After many years of guerilla 
warfare and unrest, in the year 66 the Zealots 
led the First Jewish Revolt which, like that 
of the Iceni, had temporary success but was 
incvitablv crushed. It was during this bitter 
struggle that the monastic establishment at 
C^Juamran (quite probably known to both 
lohn the Baptist and Jesus) was destroyed and 
Mime of its religious texts left in caves to be 
.liscoveredasthe Dead Sea Scrolls. In 70 the 
; uture emperor Titus besieged and captured 
Icrusalem and largely destroyed the city, 
including the great new temple begun by 
Herod the Great. Very large numbers of Jews 
scattered as refugees. Those who remained 
under Roman rule were wisely led by 
rabbinical scholars who in time were 
recognized by the Romans as supreme 

Before the wretched end of the Jewish 
Revolt, Rome had seen a change not only of 
emperors but of dynasty. An aristocratic 
conspiracy, further provincial revolts and 
finally his desertion by both army and Senate 
led to Nero's suicide in 68. The chaos of AD 69, 
the Year of the Four Emperors or Tetrarchs, 
brought the unhappy revelations that the 
imperial throne could be occupied by men 
who were not of Julian or Claudian blood, that 
it could be conferred in places other than 
Rome, and, above all, that it could be either 
bestowed by the army or seized by generals. 

Luckilv the throne ended in the possession 
of a general of bourgeois good sense and long 
experience: Vespasian, first of the three Flavian 
emperors. During the decade of his rule he 
secured peace and used it to reform the army, 
administration and treasury, to build roads and 
consolidate seems appropriate that 

AD 3-500 

RIGHT Rowan fresco found 
at Pompeii shows the well- 
travelled hero Ulysses 
resisting the lure of the 


Pliny the Elder wrote the famous Natinal 
History in his reign. His noted humour was 
maintained into his last words: "Alas, I thmk 
I am about to become a god" 

Vespasian was also one of the architects of 
Rome, restoring fire damage, and above all 
building the Colosseum as a gift to the Roman 
people on t'le land of Nero's Golden House. 

This gigantic amphitheatre, though its 
dedication was one of Vespasian's last acts, was 
not to be used until the brief reign of his soldier 
son, Titus (AD 79-81). These years were marked 
by two famous events, the tremendous 
eruption of Vesuvius that overwhelmed 
Pompeii and Herculaneum, and killed Pliny 
the Elder as he observed it from a naval ship, 
and in the following year (80) the opening of 
the Colosseum by a hundred days of 
unsurpassed spectacle and bloodshed. The 
number of wild beasts and men killed was 
enormous: Suetonius mentions that 5000 
animals, including elephants, were slaughtered 
in one day. It must be remembered that the 
emperors did not create the Colosseum just 
for grandeur and to please the populace. It was 
also a means of political and psychological 
control of the citizen mob. 

So well did Titus succeed in handling his 
subjects that when he was carried off by fever 
he was "the darling of the world" His brother, 
Domitian, third and last of the Flavians, was a 
far less amiable character. He went tar with 
self -deification, angering the Senate by this 
oriental style of kingship. He, however, 
continued to manipulate the citizens with 
games and hand-outs-even forming a new 
school of super gladiators as much beloved by 
the crowds as present-day football stars. He was 
having difficulty with Dacians, Germans and 
Sarmatians along his northern frontiers and 
this was one of the reasons that prevented his 
best known general, Agricola, from advancing 
from his defeat of the Welsh and North British 
tribes to complete his conquest of Scotland. 
Agricola's campaigns are well known to us 
since the great historian, Tacitus, was his 
son-in-law and wrote a flattering biography. 
Its composition must have roughly coincided 
with that of the gospels of Matthew and Luke. 
Domitian was assassinated (to the delight 
of the Senate) in AD 96 near the end of the 
much troubled first century of the Roman 
empire. Of the following century Gibbon 
wrote : "If any man were called to fix the period 
in the history of the world during which the 
condition of the human race was most happy 
and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, 
name that which elapsed from the death of 
Domitian to the accession of Commodus". 

Looking both backward and forward from 
AD 100 it can be seen how, in spite of turmoil 
in Rome itself and occasional local revolts, 
the empire itself could indeed provide a 
happier life. For many of its peoples and most 
of the time the blessing of the Pax Romana 
prevailed on both land and sea. Travel and 
trade were vastly easier, desirable goods flowed 
freely within the frontiers, silk, spices, gems 
and other high luxuries came from China and 
India (large hoards of Roman coins have been 
found in southern India). Ever since the time 
of Vergil the more educated classes had 
cultivated a taste for country beauties and 
rural life. Gardens great and small were 
another pleasure, and one that spread quickly 
through the provinces. The great villa at 
Fishboume, built for a romanized Celtic prince 
as early as AD 75, stood in a formal garden. 
All these delights were expressed not only in 
poetry but also in paint-as can best be seen in 
the murals preserved for us at Pompeii. 
Medical care must have improved with the 
leadership of Galen, "prince of physicians;' 
bom at Pergamum in 130. The dolce vita was 
certainly available to most free men, and even 
slaves could sometimes attain to it. 

Trade and prosperity encouraged 
architectural magnificence in provincial cities 
old and new. Among the best known in the 
Levant are Petra, with its rock-cut temples, the 
chief city of Nabataean Arabs, and from the 
second century capital of Roman Arabia, and 
Baalbek (Heliopolis),city of the Sun God, with 
its sumptuous Great Sanctuary buildings. 
In the western provinces and North Africa, 
cities were being developed on the Roman 
plan, with temples, fora, public baths and 
theatres or amphitheatres. In Rome itself 
grandiose building projects were adopted by 
emperor after emperor, outstanding being 
Trajan's new forum and the architecturally 
brilliant Pantheon, the dome that has stood 
for nearly two thousand years. 

If urbanization and the extravagant 
consumption of imported luxuries by the 
aristocracy contributed to the debasement of 
the coinage (inflation) that so often troubled 
the empire, at least no one suffered from the 
advice of professional economists. 

The earlier part of Gibbon's "most happy 
and prosperous" age was presided over by two 
excellent emperors, both of Spanish birth 
though descendants of Roman settlers. Trajan 
(98-117), a great soldier, conquered wealthy 
Dacia beyond the Danube, and also defeated 
the old Parthian enemy, capturing the capital, 
Ctesiphon on Tigris (known to all tourists for 
its one huge surviving vault) and sailed down 

■ ■ Ml. ^:j - ... , .* T' 


AD 1 'SOU 

the river to the Gulf. During the brief period 
that these conquests beyond the Euphrates 
were held, the empire was at its greatest size. 

Trajan's best memorial has been his famous 
column, still standing near his forum. This 
hundred foot column of parian marble was 
spiralled with scenes from the Dacian 
campaigns which unrolled would measure 
650 feet (200ml . They tell much about the 
Roman army and navy, the dress and habits of 
the barbarians and the hideous savagery of 
warfare at the time. 

Trajan was widely loved as a good ruler 
and was recognized as "best of the princes" 
even by the Christians. The number of 
Christians was growing especially, thanks to 
St Paul, in Anatolia and Syria. Pliny the 
Younger, whom Trajan had sent to northern 
Anatolia, was worried by the size of the 
communities-the reason being as always, 
their refusal to honour the imperial cult. The 
Emperor advised him that he must pardon 
those who repented and ignore anonymous 
denunciations, to do otherwise, he wrote, 
would be "the worst of precedents and out of 
keeping with the spirit of the age!' 

It must be remembered that in this second 
century the Christians were only one sect 
among many. The mystery cult of Mithras at 
this time seemed a strong rival, its spread 
through the empire encouraged by the army. 

Hadrian (117-138) was an exceptional man, 
strong, capable and talented in the arts. His 
central policy was to bring greater unity to the 
provinces behind stable frontiers. For this 
purpose he made many reforms in 
administration and financial management 
and also travelled to almost every part of his 
empire. On his first tour, which took hun 
through Gaul to the Rhme and (in 122) across 
to Britain, he initiated the building of the stone 
wall from Tyne to Solway that bears his name. 
This most northerly of Roman frontiers with 
its forts, fortlets and turrets is as much his 
popular memorial as the column is Trajan's. 
His later journey up the Nile is remembered 
chiefly for the drowning of his favourite, the 
beautiful young man, Antinous, and for the 
record of the musical sounds coming from the 
Colossi of Memnon at Thebes (p. 119) . 

Hadrian, too, was a great builder and it was 
his decision to rebuild devastated Jerusalem as 
a Roman city that, unintentionally, provoked 
the worst trouble of his reign. The Second 
Jewish Revolt ( 132-135) of the hero Bar-Kokhba 
led to the capture of Jerusalem and a brief 
nationalist government before its inevitable 
defeat and further scattering of the Jewish 
people. The Roman city was built, A famous 

Marcm Aurelius was the 
greatest of the Antonines, 
and was famous as a Stoic 
philosopher and as author 
of the Meditations- But 

when the Pax Romana was 
threatened he did his noble 
best to save it. He led 
successful campaigns against 
the Parthians and Germans. 

Head of Arcadms, liyzanl 
emperor IAD 39S'400i. 
found near the Forum 

discovery was that of BarKokhba letters, anil 
pathetic remains i)t some of his followers, in a 
cave on the west shore ot the IKiul Sea, not 
very far from Quamran 

Hadrian's greatest huildinRS (apart from his 
Wall) are the I'antheon at Rome and his 
enormous and mar\ellous "villa" at Tivoli, 
outside the capital He could not spare much 
time to enjoy it. His personal quality is revealed 
in the exquisite little poem he addressed to hi» 
soul during his last illness: "Anirniilu. vaiiuLi. 

Shortly before his death, Hadrian had 
adopted Antoninus Pius as his heir This 
founder of the Antonine house, with none ol 
Hadrian's brilliance or restlessness, proved a 
pacific, stay-at-home ruler In the west, howe vi. i 
his name is associated with a temporary 
advance of the British frt)nticr beyond the 
Scottish lowlands to the shorter Forth-Clyde 
line. It might also be said that it was at this time 
educated men were given a clearer view of the 
earth. Ptolemy of Alexandria, the great 
geographer, realized that it was a sphere with 
mingled land and water masses, established 
latitudes and longitudes, and using a conical 
projection mapped the known inhabited 

Marcus Aurelius (161-180), as a man so 
much the greatest of the three Antonines,and 
famous as a Stoic philosopher and author of 
the Meditations, was denied the peace he could 
so well have employed. Suddenly the Pax 
Romona was threatened-and he did his noble 
best to save it. German tribes were thrusting 
across the Danube and into Italy, the Parthians 
again aggressive in Mesopotamia and Armenia, 
and there was an internal rebellion. His 
campaigns were on the whole successful, 
Parthian Ctesiphon and Seleucia fell. Yet when 
the Stoic died the old stability had gone and his 
son,Commodus,too carefully educated by 
Aurelius, was no more stable. When this 
unhappy young man, who thought of himself 
as Hercules, was strangled in his bath, Rome 
and the court entered a spell of civil strife and 
murder recalling the worst days after Nero. 

Septimus Severus (193-21 1 1 fromLeptis 
Magna in North Africa and the first emperor 
who had to learn Latin as a second language, 
was a brave and tireless soldier who contrived 
to hold the empire together More and more, 
however, he and his successors had to placate 
the army with high pay and privileges. The 
army itself became more professional and far 
less Roman. Not only soldiers but officers too 
were often barbarian recruits from inside or 
outside the frontiers. The cost of maintenance 
increased enormously and also the taxes to 


Septimus Severus il93211) 
from Leplis Magjw in North 
Africa and the first emperor 
who had to learn Latin as a 
second language was a 
brave and tireless soldier 
who contrived to hold the 
Empire together 
This family portrait was 
amended at a later date to 
remove the figure of one of 
Seveni.s' sons after the 
child's death. 

: -.tuntine in the Edict of 
\ 1 1 i.jii 1313) gave reli^ous 
toleration to the Christians 
and restored their property. 
As Constantine also 
announced his own 
acceptance of the faith it 
became virtually the 

Diocktidn reorganized the 
whole imperial structure, 
dividing it into two parts, 
so recognizing the ever- 
present distinction between 
the oriental east and the 
young western provinces. 

RICHT: View across the 
Forum towards the rownl 
"Temple of Romulus". 
The Basilica Nova of 
Maxentius and Constantm 
is m the backgroimd. 


support it; SO prosperity declined and 
bureaucracy tended to increase. It is to us a 
familiar picture. 

Among the disruptive forces that Severus 
and many of his third century successors 
feared, was the mounting power of the Church. 
Writing in his reign, Tertullian said "We are 
but of yesterday and we have filled every place 
belonging to you: cities, islands, fortresses, 
towns, assemblies ... the palace, the Senate, the 
law-courtS; the only thing we have left to you 
for yourselves is your temples". It was by now 
this fear that prompted the Christian 
persecutions. One of those to suffer under 
Severus was the wise and tolerant convert to 
the faith, St Clement of Alexandria, who saw 
Greek thought as preparing the way for 
Christianity Origen was his pupil. 

Severus died in York where he had been 
campaigning against the Scots,- his son, 
Caracalla followed his policy of unifying the 
empire by granting Roman citizenship to all its 
freeborn men-a gift no longer worth what it 
once had been. It was also in his reign that 
there was the first hint of future terror: the 
Goths, a Germanic people who had moved 
eastward from Scandinavian Gotland, 
attacked the frontier north of the Danube. 
It did not seem serious: Caracalla could afford 
to build his gigantic baths in Rome. The more 
immediate threat appeared to be from the 
Persian Sassanids when, claiming to be the true 
inheritors of the Achaemenids,they overthrew 
the Parthian empire in AD 226 - a few years 
after the collapse of the Han empire in China. 
The Gennanic onslaught began in earnest 
from about 249 when the Goths went into the 
Balkans and shortly afterwards killed the 
emperor Decius in battle. Together with the 
Heruli they continued to harry from the Black 
Sea to the Aegean and in Greece itself. 
Meanwhile, from 253, the western empire was 
also attacked, the Alamanni and Marcomanni 
invading north Italy and Gaul, the Franks and 
Burgundians plundering across the Rhine. 
Resistance was weakened by frequent 
struggles for the imperial throne by nominees 
of the annies,but during the 270's the Romans 
had considerable successes against the 
barbarians -until the empire could be restored 
by Diocletian who took the throne in 284. 

This son of an Illyrian freedman, acting 
with extraordinary clarity and determination, 
reorganized the whole imperial structure, 
dividing it into two pans, so recognizing the 
always-existing distinction between the Greek 
and oriental east and Italy with the young 
western provinces. Territorial divisions were 
also completely reframed at a lower level of 

Constatine founded 
Constantinople on the site 
of the old Greek town of 
Byzantium. It wasperfectly 
situated for trade and self- 
defence and for controlhng 
frontiers both east and west. 

administration, an effort made to prevent 
military control of the throne, and the currency 
reformed. All this was to be effective for a time, 
but it meant the imposition of a totalitarian 
state, with emperors remote from the people in 
courts of oriental grandeur. Diocletian showed 
his extraordinary strength of purpose by not 
waiting to die or be murdered in royal harness, 
but retiring to his fine villa at Split and 
cultivating his garden. 

In his efforts to cement the empire together, 
Diocletian was bound to oppose the Church, 
which he recognized as forming a state within 
a state. In 303 (five years after the earliest 
calendar stele at Tikal) he issued a harsh edict 
depriving Christians of Roman citizenship and 
therefore of holding any office, and ordering 
the destruction of churches and sacred books; 
a little later it was decreed that the clergy were 
to be imprisoned and forced by torture to 
sacrifice to the gods. 

It was in truth far too late for such 
measures to succeed; in fact they encouraged 
resistance. When, in spite of Diocletian's 
reforms, his retirement was followed by 
disputes over the succession, there was a 
sudden reversal of policy-culminating in the 
Edict of Milan (313) under which Constantine 
gave religious toleration to the Christians and 
restored their property As Constantine also 
announced his own acceptance of the faith it 
became virtually the imperial religion. 
Tolerance was, however, the legal condition 
and there was nothing to deter Julian the 
Apostate (361-363), a nephew of Constantine, 
from declaring himself a pagan and trying to 
re-instate the ancient gods. It was not until 378 
that Theodosius ended official neutrality and 
outlawed paganism, many temples being 
nationalized and made into museums. 

Constantine the Great's second manifesta- 
tion of greatness (apart from military brilliance ) 
was his foundation of Constantinople 
(324-330) on the site of the old Greek town of 
Byzantium. It was perfectly situated for trade 
and self-defence, and for controlling the 
frontiers both east and west. The transfer of the 
main imperial capital from Rome also 
recognized the great relative importance of the 
eastern empire. As it turned out the west never 
fully recovered from the events of the third 
century. Rome declined while Constantinople 
and its Byzantine empire prospered and were 
to remain a bastion of Christian civilization 
until they fell to the Turks over a thousand 
year later. 

There is a parallel here between the Old 
World and the New. The Byzantine Empire can 
be dated from AD 324-1453, the (admittedly 

less coherent) Mesoamerican high civilization 
from AD 300 to the Spanish conquest of 1520. 

In 325, when the building of Constantinople 
had just begun, Constantine summoned the 
first of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church 
to meet at Nicaea. It found against the Arian 
heresy that denied the full divinity of Christ 
and recognized Rome, Antioch and Alexandria 
as the Patriarchal sees. At about this time, too, 
Constantine's mother, St Helen, made 
excavations at Jerusalem and brought back the 
True Cross and many other acceptable relics. 

It is totally impossible here adequately to 
chronicle the events of the spasmodically 
disintegrating western empire during the later 
fourth and fifth centuries. The confusion of 
rival emperors, of assassinations, of uprisings 
and Christian schisms, of barbarian invasions 
and campaigns against them, is too great. 
I cannot do more than pick out a few names 
and events that are most famihar. 

Some of the more positive and happier 
events sprang from the Christian church, now 
able to proselytize. It was, for example, most 
fortunate that the Ostrogoths and Visigoths 
now living north and west of the Black Sea 
were converted to the faith (in its Arian form) 
in C.340, their bishop Wulfila translating the 
Bible into Gothic. It so happens that St Jerome, 
whose great work was to be the revision of 
Latin translations of the Bible that issued in 
the Vulgate, was born in this same year of 340. 
A few words about his curious life will give a 
revealing picture of the age. Studying in Rome, 
he made researches into the early Christian 
relics in the Catacombs; in about 366 he 
travelled in Gaul and settled in the fine city of 
Trier; after a dream in which he was divinely 
rebuked for being "not a Christian but a 
Ciceronian" he went to the deserts of Chalcis 
and lived as a hermit -four years made familiar 
by innumerable mediaeval paintings of his 
"temptations". He moved to Constantinople 
and then Rome, where he came near to being 
elected pope. In 385 he abandoned Rome for 
the orient, was joined by Paula and other 
Roman women determined to live in celibacy 
in the Holy Land. Together they visited the 
sacred sites of Palestine, convents in the 
Egyptian desert, and finally came to rest in 
Bethlehem, where Jerome and Paula presided 
over monastic houses. Jerome did not die until 
420, ten years after the Goths had sacked Rome. 

Although every kind of internal trouble 
within the empire weakened its resistance, 
it was, of course, the attacks, invasions and 
settlements of the Germanic, and a few 
nomadic steppe, peoples who brought about 
the final collapse of the west. These huge folk 

movements were in large part started by the 
Huns,a Tureo-Mnngol people who can be 
identified with none other than the HsuinK-Nu 
who had troubled the Chinese in our last 
period and set up a temporary state in north 
China in the lourth century AD. A Roman 
historian described them as small, stiuat and 
beardless, with "horrible faces", riveted to their 
horses where they ate, drank, and slept; they 
could neither plough nor cook. The sudden 
drive of the Huns to the west, launched in M^.i, 
caused a chain reaction and precipitated the 
invasions of the Roman empire. First the Indo- 
European Alans were caught up,thcn the 
Hunnish horde crossed the Don, displacing the 
Ostrogoths who in turn displaced the Visigoths 
(who appealed for protection to the Emperor 
Valens). In 376, 70,000 Visigoths crossed the 
Danube. Roman mismanagement of their 
refugee problem led them to revolt against 
their protectors: Valens was heavily defeated 
and himself killed at the battle of Adrianople 
in the Balkans. Although Theodosius made a 
treaty with the Visigoths and used many as 
soldiers, they were now inside the empire as a 
nation under its own kings. Meanwhile the 
Huns occupied eastern Europe with a nomadic 
empire stretching to the Urals. Their further 
pressure caused north German Vandals and 
Alans to break into Gaul in 406.They later 
advanced southward, through Spain and into 
north Africa (429). 

After Theodosius' death in 395 the 
Visigoths, under their king Alaric, roused from 
their short quiescence, threatened Constantin- 
ople itself, pillaged Athens, Corinth and Sparta, 
then went by way of Illyria into northern Italy. 
It was now that Theodosius' Vandal general, 
Stilicho, recalled the legions from the west- 
including Britain. He was virtually ruling the 
west in the name of the feeble emperor 
Honorius. Temporarily he drove the Goths 
from Italy. Then in 408 Stilicho was 
assassinated, and within two years Alaric was 
in Rome. It was also in 410 that the British, 
stripped of the regions and being raided by 
Saxons, made a vain appeal for Honorius' help. 

King Alaric behaved with moderation, 
appointing a puppet ruler and withdrawing 
from Rome. Yet the shock to the Roman world 
was enormous. Many said that Rome's disaster 
was due to the betrayal of her gods. This was 
one of the great contrapuntal moments in the 
Roman-Christian story, for St Augustine, 
roused both by the disaster and the outcry 
against Christianity, began his great work 
on the City of God, in which he interpreted 
the fall of Rome "made with hands" in the light 
of the city of God, "eternal in Heaven". 

The period of regular settlement of the 
barbarian peoples within the empire now 
began, particularly the Visigoths, Burgundians 
and Alans (round Orleans) in Gaul, the Franks 
to the north of them and the Saxons along the 
north coasts. This was the time of those 
comically famous Saxons, Hengist and Horsa. 
However fanciful their names, the British king 
Vortigern, doing what he could to protect the 
land from still wilder tribes, such as the Picts 
and Scots, invited Saxon mercenaries to his aid 
This was probably in c.43()-earlier than Bede's 
familiar date of 449. It would have been about 
a dozen years later that they began to plunder 
and take the land for themselves. 

Now the Huns were on the move again. 
Under their king Attila they crossed the Rhine 
in 451. They devastated northern Gaul until 
they were defeated by the Romans in alliance 
with the Visigoths at the battle of Troyes. 
Attila veered off into Italy, where luckily for 
the Roman government, now at Ravenna, he 
died in 453. His followers broke up and were 
driven far to the east, where various Hun 
states were to become a thorn in the side of 
the Byzantines. 

Almost before the Italians could appreciate 
the death of Attila, Rome was sacked by the 
Vandals. Still the broken western empire 
struggled on, a sham with emperors controlled 
by barbarian puppet-masters. This pretence 
was ended when in 476 the last little emperor, 
most ironically named Romulus Augustus, 
was deposed by the barbarian general, 
Odoacer, who set up no puppet but declared 
himself ruler in the name of the Byzanrine 

The period was to end in good fortune for 
the west.Theodoric the Ostrogoth had been 
educated in Constantinople and when his 
people ravaged Greece, the eastern emperor 
Leo was able to relieve the pressure by 
commissioning Theodoric to lead them against 
Odoacer. This he did after 488, when 100,000 
Ostrogoths crossed into Italy. Theodoric the 
Great in fact made himself king of Italy and 
was accepted by the Senate-though nominally 
a Roman general under the eastern Emperor. 
The Ostrogoths were settled in the country, 
most of them in the north. Contriving to keep 
on moderately good terms with Clovis, 
ambitious and still barbarous king of the 
Franks, Theodoric was able to bring peace and 
prosperity to Italy. He graced his court with 
scholars such as Cassiodorus and Boethius, 
while the populace were still granted their 
bread and circuses. The city of Rome was in 
part restored and Ravenna made more 
splendid; some provinces were recovered. 


The mosaic at the top comes 
from S. Pudenziana in Rome 
and IS of Christ teaching the 
Apostles. The others, from 
Havenna, show the Baptism 


CunI Shepherd undhi^llnck 
from thcccilingofthc 
Galla I'lacida (right). 

Theodoric's reign and the absorption of his 
Ostrogoths in Italy is already pointing towards 
the future, when the vigorous Germanic 
peoples were to blend Roman and Byzantine 
cultural traditions with their own and create 
the Christian civilization of the Middle Ages. 
I am going to end these steps through time 
with a contemporary of Clovis and Theodoric 
whose name seems utterly remote from theirs: 
with "King Arthur" of Britain. Once thought to 
be entirely a figure of myth and legend, he is 
now recognized as a very real hero of the 
resistance of the Romanized Britons to the 
Saxons, Angles and Jutes now crossing the 
North Sea, settling the country. Arthur was not 
so much a king as a military leader in the late 
Roman tradition, gathering together Britons 
mainly from the west and north. He can be 
nnagined at the head of a force of cavalrymen 
in chain mail, formidable to the unorganized 
barbarians. After various lesser battles, Arthur 
won the great victory of Mons Badonicus that 
was to check the advance of the invaders for 
some half century Neither the date nor the 
place of this true Arthurian victory is exactly 
known. It is quite probable, however, that it 
was won in AD 499. 

Technology AD 1-500 

The Roman engineers, in spite of the prevalence 
of slave labour and their insufficient iron- 
working skills for full exploitation of the new 
ideas of the screw thread and gears, were able 
to apply several new principles. Three fields 
only need be mentioned to illustrate the point 
here. The watermill was the first new (and a 
very effective) harnessing of a natural power 
source since the invention of the sail. Much 
use was made of the storage of power in twisted 
rope, notably in military artillery, and chemical 
research resulted in Greek fire as an offensive 
weapon. The Romans invented the extremely 
elaborate hypocaust heating system and from 
their surgical instruments seem to have been 
capable of a number of complex operations 
even though their ideas on anatomy and 
physiology were extremely unscientific. 

China's burst of inventive activity, already 
noted for the preceding period, continued 
unabated - so much so that it is frequently 
difficult to apportion discoveries correctly 
between the Christian and pre-Christian eras. 
Here, too, cogwheels and the watermill were 
invented independently of the west. Of much 
greater significance for the future was the 
discovery of a technique for making paper, an 
enormous improvement on papyrus or calf 
skin I vellum]. A mash of plant fibres was 
shaken to an even layer on the mesh of a sieve 
and later stuck to the wall to dry. Lesser 
inventions like the seismograph, the folding 
umbrella and the reintroduction of stoneware 
were also made in this period. 

In India considerable progress was made in 
medicine and more importantly in mathe- 
matics. At last a system of representing integers 
and the zero sign were developed together, so 
that calculations could be worked with the 
symbols themselves. Previous systems could 
be used only for recording the result of a 
problem worked out by some other method. 

Developments in the New World included 
the perfecrion of the Maya glyphic script and 
the further elaboration of the calendar with the 
Long Court system. Improved techniques for 
casting and alloying various metals resulted in 
highly decorative ornaments. In Ecuador, 
finely separated particles of gold and platinum 
were alloyed together Other techniques 
included the use of hard solder, hammer 
welding and lost wax casting. 

The Americas 

Metal came into more general 
use, particularly in the Andean 
region. It was used especially 
for jewellery and figurines, but 
simple functional objects kke 
fish hooks were also made 
Mayan glyphs were further 
elaborated and the ribbed 
pounder was for beatmg out Jaxa 
bark for use as paper. 



Copper Bronze 

J Egypt 

Continental Europe 

Far East 
The Amencas 


Eastern, Western 
Continental Europe 

Roman ingenuity and practica- 
lity in engineering in the 
widest sense continued well 
into this period. Waterwhcclf or 
mills (mainly used for grinding 
corn or extracting olive oil| 
were used throughout the 
Roman empire. Other 
mechanical machines included 
a simple reaping device and 
the crane. Hypocausts which 
provided underfloor heating 
and vacuum flasks for food 
warming were among the 
domestic inventions of the 
time. Manufactured tools 
included surgical instruments. 
Roads were constructed for 
both administrative and 
mihtary purposes. The 
developments in armour and 
war engines contributed 
greatly to the army's successes. 

AD 1-500 


The CUV ot Alexandna and the 
Egyptian army and govern- 
ment shared fuUy in Roman 
imperial development, but 
the inventiveness ot the 
Egyptian Greeks had dechned 
and there was no noteworthy 
technological progress. 

Far E«t 

The use of the forge in Japan 
simplified the production of 
iron helmets In China 
measuring devices such as the 
seismograph and gauge and 
coins were produced in metal 
while pottery was still more 
appropriate for decorative 
ohiects and models. 

India's contribution at this time 
was to abstract thought rather 
than to material progress. For 
xample, the discovery of the 
ycle of the monsoon winds 
iy improved India's 
with the west. 

Inlaid ff I J buckle 


This region had little to add to 
world progress in technology. 
Earlier traditions were followed 
in producing items in clay, 
metal and stone. 

AD 1-500 


This region no longer 
figured in the forefront of 
technological advance. Its 
great amphorae certainly 
demonstrate skills both in 
pottery making and in 
trade, but both were long 
practised. New develop- 
ments would arise after its 
conquest by Islam in 641. 


Roman civilization 
determined technological 
advance in this area and 
whatever native tradition 
remained was to be shortly 
swept a way by the Muslim 
conquest in 634, 

Eastern, Western 
Continental Europe 

Roman roads were practical 
and enduring engineering 
works on an extraordinary 
scale. They incorporated a 
number of innovations in 
their metalling, camber and 
surveying. Thei- effect on 
the history and economics 
of their time, and for long 
afterwards, was enormous. 
They were found through- 
out the Empire stretching 
from one boundary to 
another The armour such 
as that worn by the Tnarius 
usually consisted of a 
bronze helmet and breast 
plate wdth a rectangular 
leather-coated wooden 
shield trimmed with iron. 
.Spears and thrusting 
swords protected the 
individual soldier while 
siege engines were used in 
assault manoeuvres. The 

hypocaust which supplied 
underf loor heating was an 
important part of the 
Roman bath complex, 
Vitruvius' water mill 
harnessed a new source of 
power with an ingenious 
and effective use of simple 
gears to alter the direction 
and ratio of the drive. It 
worked on the principle 
that the water flowing 
beneath the vertically set 
wheel struck the blades, 
thus causing rotation. The 
connected millstone 
rotated five times to one 
turn of the water-wheel. It 
was more versatile than 
earlier wheels and could 
handle a greater volume of 
work. The crane, needed 
for lifting in large-scale 
building construction, was 
worked by a system of 
pulleys and winches. The 
power source was a tread 

nud.Hluck.^ti iilEcKl Ldiicdshire.Eng/diid 

of ihctullHystcmiil 
positiuniil nutiition with the 
iisc()f;i rent sign in mathc- 

mcnt.irv rcconl ol this is in 
the I'liraiiiis iit the Sth 
century, ihuugh as we have 
seen (p. 87) it was heinx 
worked out Iroin a much 
earher date 

The Amciicaii 
The Maya employei 

cate K'yphs in the liirm 
)lKf"«esi|uetaces The 
main purpose ol these was 
in recorduiK dates hy the 
Long Count Since the 
Calendar Kound (see p IK7i 
repeated alter S2 years, a 
Sim jiar but longer cycle 
covering recordable history 
was devised 

Architecture AD 1-500 

The complex civilization of the Romans called 
for utilitarian as well as majestic structures. 
Although "Greek" temples continued to be 
built (with suitably changed dedications) from 
Colchester to Baalbek, the future lay firmly 
not with the repeatable formula but with the 
new problem, not with the temple but with 
the theatre, the public baths, other civic 
buildings, and also, if not buildings in the usual 
sense of the term, the bridge and the aqueduct. 
All these led to experiment and advance in the 
use of the arch and of brick-faced concrete, 
with the object of roofing ever larger areas 
safely, diu-ably and impressively. The Pantheon 
at Rome had the entrance facade of a classical 
temple but the dome behind it was entirely 
novel and not surpassed in size until a 
thousand years later 

Later in the period and more obviously in 
the Byzantine east than in the Roman west, the 
greatest building effort went into the churches, 
not only because they needed to house the 
largest number of people at one time, but 
because to be worthy of God they had to be the 
finest that their builders could achieve. From 
the fourth century onwards, architecture 
meant above all ecclesiastical architecture. 

So too elsewhere in the world. In India, the 
architecture of the Gupta dynasty was 
directed primarily to temples, rock-cut or free 
standing, and to the related stupas. And for 
very similar reasons. In the Far East, however, 
timber structures were felt to be as adequate 
for the gods as they were for men. The most 
impressive surviving monuments are tombs, 
both in China and Japan, less because they 
were the grandest structures being erected at 
the time than because their burial has ensured 
their preservation. The plans for these 
ceremonial buildings incorporated a great deal 
of cosniic symbolism. 

Temples come into their own again in the 
Americas. The motive force which raised the 
great pyramids and temples of Teotihuacan 
was a religious one, so too with the temples of 
the Maya. Their corbel vaulting may have been 
primitive by comparison with contemporary 
work in the Old World, but it was far in 
advance of anything earlier in the American 
continent. Siinilar development of the 
ceremonial centre can be demonstrated in 
South America, where the great site of 
Tiahuanaco was rising in this period. 


The Americas 

This period saw the rise of the 
Early Classic Period in the 
lowlands of the Peten in 
Guatemala. At such sites as 
Yaxchilan and Uaxactiin, 
ceremonial centres containing 
platforms, pyramids and 
temples were built and re- 
designed over a period of 
several hundred years. 



J Egypt 

Eastern Mediterranean 

Western Mediterranean 

Continental Europe 

Mud Baked 

HjiirjUM s Willi 

Eastern, Western 
Continental Europe 

The number and variety of the 
illustrations give some idea 
of the wealth of building under 
the Roman Empire. From the 
early imperial age, shown in 
the Maison Carree and the 
huge temple complex at Baal- 
bek, Hellenistic influence was 
gradually phased out as new 
systems and principles were 
explored. The Pantheon, 
rebuilt by Hadrian, couples a 
traditional facade viath an 
outstandingly novel building. 
By the time of the Basilica of 
Maxentius and the Christian 
cathedrals of Syria and Old 
St Peter's, the arch and the vault 
(first seen in the Royal 
Cemetery of Ur in 2500 BC I, 
had completely displaced the 
column and the architrave. A 
similar progression can be seen 
in theatres, as at Aspendus and 
El Djem, and in tombs at Petra 
and Santa Costanza. Roman 
inventiveness created new 
forms such as Hadrian's Wall 
and the aqueduct of the Pont 
du Card where there were no 
Greek models. 

Far East 

Still the only bullUinK to 
survive arc the tombs, us at 
LoyatiR, but incriasinK 
archaeological remains, 
contemporary representations 
and deciphered literary 
descriptions ot Loyangand 
Chan^'An allow much more 
detailed reconstructions. 


.F^''"' V 


The temples of Khnum at Esna 
and Mandulis at Kalabsha arc 
among the last traditional 
EK>ptian buildings constructed 
during the Roman occupation. 


The Parthian Temple of 
Careus at Uruk and the 
Sassanian palace at Ctesiphon 
show that the superiority of 
the arch had at last come to be 
fully realized lover 2000 years 
after it was first used hcre|. 
These buildings are closer to 
contemporary Roman 
construction than to their 
Mesopotamian predecessors. 
The tomb at Hatra is an 
altogether simpler structure. 




rcprcsentJlivcot the 
architecture ot the Gupta 
period, 320-600 AD whose 
temples were small, flat-roott J 
and mortarless. The 27 rock 
cut caves of Ajanta are lavisliK 
decorated with paintings and 
sculpture. A temple was carved 
into the stone hillside in front 
of the cave hollow. 

AD 1-500 


Ctesiphon passed about 
225 AD from the Parthians 
to the Sassanians. The key 
feature of their palaces was 
an audience chamber in the 
form of a huge but shallow 
brick vaulted haU, 100 ft. 
(31 m) high, set in an 
elaborately recessed facade. 
The haU or iwan became a 
feature of later Mushm 
architecture. The vault's 
kiln-baked brickwork 
spanned a distance of 83 ft. 
(24 m). The 1 wdn was 
composed of obliquely set 
arch rings which provided 

support during construc- 
tion as well. There are hints 
of late Hellenistic architec- 
ture in details of the brick 
facade such as the blind 
arcading (the constant 
hostility between Parthians 
and Romans, and later 
between Sassanians and 
Byzantines, in n j way pre- 
vented regular cultural 
contacts). The palace 
shown is a reconstruction 
of an early Sassanian one. 
The substantial remains 
surviving on the site were 
built by King Chosroes, in 
the mid-6th century 

iiiiiiiijiiihiii ^r 1 '"= 

I IIKiLllliriKlLfC, 

l(i|ll|IIM"*H f^ 

iiiiiii I ir 

I'ciUiLL iitCtLsiphon near hiiKlidad 

Constnictiun of bntkarth 


The Temple of Khnum at 
Esna was one of the very 
last manifestations of 
pharaonic architecture, 
which just survived into 
the Chri,stian era. As has 
been apparent in these 
pages, it lingered surpris- 
ingly long, perhaps because 
of the strength of its 
traditions, built up over 
3000 years. Indeed, the 

religion it was created to 
serve continued to a much 
later date. But the spread of 
this worship was in an 
acceptably Hellenistic, now 
Romanized, setting. The 
heavy masonry, pilasters 
and concave cornice were 
more firmly wedded to the 
Nile valley, and even there 
these gradually gave way to 
influences from the 

Eastern, Western 
Continental Europe 

The Romans applied 
Hellenistic architecture 
with a pragmatic common- 
sense. At the Maison 
CarreeatNimes, for 
instance, the exterior 
consisted of Romanized 
Corinthian columns 
supporting a richly carved 
entablature. When no 
Hellenistic models for an 
aqueduct were available, 
the Romans produced a 
structure 882 ft. (271 ml 
long with three tiers of 
arches 155 ft. (47 m) above 
the River Card. The 
masonry was laid dry 
except for the top tier The 
second century tomb 
facade known as Ed Deir at 
Petra is also colossal ( 1 5 1 ft 
46 m high). The tombs were 
cut into rock and closely 
resemble temples. The 
Pantheon in Rome, while 
not the first round temple, 
was one of enormous scale 
Seven recesses housed 
statues of the gods and one 
served as an entrance. The 
huge dome was illuminated 
by a 30 ft. (9 m) round 
opening. Gilt bronze 
decorated the exterior of 
the dome. In theatre 
building, the new 
developed alongside the 
old. The theatre at 
Aspendos (only the stage 
building survives 
complete), is closely in the 
Greek tradition. But the 
amphitheatre, as at El 
Diem, was a compktclv 
new and purely Roman 
development, as its 
ostentatious use of the arch 
shows. Hadrian's Wall was 
a permanent military 
installation built across the 
north of England, Vaults 
were built which, when 
concrete-fiUed, became 
of the arch 

Tciii; k t khnwn £mi j 

Ill i \ NTH EON The dome 
( tilt I'antheon. intact after 
i^htcen centuries, has an 
rnal diameter of 142 ft 
l43 ml IVi construction was 
made possible by a highly 
skilled use of concrete. 


I Ik- Diirn.i Temple .it 
Aihiilc, one ol stvcntyndd 
temples at thiit site, isol the 
eh.iityafiirm and late 
C.upt.i irul.ite, pr(ib.ibly 

ul .1 n.ive, liere routed Ib.irrel v.iulls 
were less usual) terminatmK 
in an apse which contains 
the principal shrine. The 
entrance is in the form ol a 
porch at the other end, and 

the whole cella is sur- 
rounded hy an ambulatory 
The masonry was mortar 
less and rather larxe and 
thick Like the rock-cut 
chaitya halls or "cave 
temples" ol Ajanta, it ^;ol•^ 
back to prototypes ol 
timber buildings well 
before the Maurya period, 
which have not survived 
The carved stone copies, 
allow easy reconstruction 
of the timber originals 

Dur.i:o temple. Aihole. India 

Far East 

Ccrenuinial huildin>;s 
which were of Rteat size 
and complexity have to be 
reconstructed larRcly from 
written descriptions One 
palace at Loyang was 
described as "A two- 
storeyed fane with douole 
eaves, having eight 

apertures and nine cham- 
bers; compass drawn like 
the Heavens and squared 
off like the Earth; telling 
the seasons and conforming 
to the cardinal directions". 
A massive timber frame- 
work supported these 
structures which were 
crowned by tiled roofs. 

,i — 1 j I J rryM fJ ■- Ljt3=ii— i i ' — ' 
Ceremonia/buiWing.Ch'flng-/ln.Shensi. China 

The Americas. 

Careful t 
Uaxactun has shown a long 
succession of building 
phases as the temple was 
progressively enlarged and 
beautified. A broad flight of 

steps led up to an open 
square on a platform over- 
looked by three imposing 
buildings. The height of 
these was necessitated by 
the use of the corbel vault, 
the arch being unknown 

Art AD 1-500 

To emphasize the significance of the beginning 
of the high ci\rihzations of Mesoamerica from 
c. AD 300, it is justifiable to set aside the claims 
of the Old World and open with the New. 

In the valley of Mexico the city of 
Teotihuacan was flounshhig and widely 
influential; in addition to rather limited archi- 
tectural sculpture, mural painting was already 
practised. In Oaxaca, where advances toward 
civilization had begun early at Monte Alban, 
Zapotec culture was now fully established. 
It was, however, the Mayan high civilization 
that developed in the Guatemalan lowlands 
round Tikal and Uaxactun, but soon spread 
more widely, that was to have by far the highest 
achievement m the arts. The Maya had already 
adopted the principal of vitalizing the heavy 
masses of their buildings with decorative 
sculpture; one of the early stele from Tikal 
shows the priest-king dwarfed by a colossal 
headdress that was to become such a familiar 
figure a little later 

In the Old World, of course, the Roman 
empire dominates the age. Its art derived 
directly from the Hellenistic tradition. Indeed, 
in the earlier centuries much of it was executed 
by Greeks, while wealthy Romans robbed 
Greece of many of her finest sculptures and 
also had them copied on a commercial scale. 
The Roman character and the grandiose 
demands of imperial monuments brought 
about obvious changes of feeling. Moreover, 
in the western provinces such as Gaul and 
Britain much provincial work was produced. 

In Near Eastern art, including Parthia, 
where a mingling of Hellenistic with Persian 
and other local elements persisted on a 
generally low level, there was one curious 
revolution. The lines of figures seen in profile, 
which had prevailed for so long, were, during 
the 1st century, turned round and shown full 
face: this new principal of "frontality" spread 
to the eastern empire and greatly affected 
Byzantine art. In India both Buddhist and 
Hindu religious art evolved their iconography- 
the Gupta age marking one of the high peaks 
of Indian culture. 

In China the courtly art of the Han was 
maintained with its grace and artificiality-best 
known throught tomb figures. The infiltration 
of Buddhism encouraged the contemplative 
life and the perfection of the arts of subject 
painting and calligraphy Rock-cut shrines 
with Buddhist painting and sculpture spread 
across the north, even among the nomad 
intruders. The export of Chinese tomb figures 
to Japan gave rise to the local Haniwa style. 

The Americas 

By about AD 300 tme Mayan 
art had emerged in architectural 
sculpture and relief figures on 
calendar stelae.The Maya also 
sculpted tine vessels and made 
painted and modelled pottery. 
The people of Tenochtitlan 
used sculpture less freely, but 
had already developed mural 
pamting. Zapotec art developed 
in Oaxaca (Monte Alban), 
Figure sculpture was plentiful 
at San Agustin, Colombia, 
while m the coastal valleys of 
Peru fme painted and modelled 
pottery characterized the 
Mochica and Nazca cultures. 

Eastern, Western 

Greco-Roman art generally 
prevailed round the Roman 
Sea, although local schools are 
often recognizable. Imperial 
Roman art was at its best in 
realistic portraiture and 
historical narrative. After 
Constantine, portrayals tended 
to be more stylized and 
Christian subjects are 
developed, particularly in 
funerary sculpture. The 
Romans also practised land- 
scape and architectural 
painting and the mosaic art. 

Contincnul Europe 

Purinnthc brici period before 
the Cljudijn coiU(iie>t ot 
AD4,Ha Tenearteniovcdan 
Indun Numnicr in Hritjiii such .i> the 
bronrt- OesborouKh mirror 
wcrcproJuctd Aiti.tthe 
Coriijuest something ot the 
Cehit >pitit occjsion.illv 
showcd icsell-in iiiicljssieal 
sculpture. Gcnerallv, however, 
Roman provincialiMU pre- 
vailed Belore SIX) the Germanic 
peoples benan to produce tine 

Far Eaai 

AniMs ot the late Han dynasty 
continued to produce excellent 
«mall sculptures such as the 
lamous "llyinK horses" Irom 
Wu wei After the lall or the 
Han dynasty calliKr jphic and 
other |Hrlttted 
under the Miuthern dynasty of 
East Chin W itli the Krowth of 
Buddhism Its art lorms spread; 
they arc well represented in 
the thousand Buddha caves. 


M esopoiam ia/Peisia 
Some examples of the best 
early Parthian art come trom 
the edge ol the empire -from 
Palmyra. Fresco pamting, 
including scenes from a 
Mathraeum, are known from 
Dura Europos In a new age ot 
prosperity after the Sassanid 
conquest ot 220, an effort was 
made to restore something ot 
the Achaemenid past. 


The Egyptians were greatly 
intlucnted by the Romans 
even in those traditions 
uniquely theirs, i e the 
decoration ol i 
Glass and bronze were 
widely used 


Indian art was now divided 
between a Greco-Roman 
intluenced province in the 
northwest lunder the Kushans) 
that gave rise to the Gandhara 
schools ot sculpture, and a 
native development out ot the 
earlier Mauryan tradition. This 
art of the Guptas |including 
Ashokal IS whollv Indian and 
religious -serving both Hindu 
gods and the Buddha The 
finest painting can be seen in 
cave temples of Ajanta. 


The Parthians were of 
probable Scythian origin 
and warhke in nature. Their 
art was formed from an 
unstable blend of Hellenistic 
and Achaeraenid traditions 
and is recognized by the 1st 
century AD. Among a small 
amount of surviving 

Parthian art is a silver bowl 
showing the god Silenus 
accompanied by his 
followers, which is dated 
around AD 200. 

Parthian silver plate 


The Greco-Roman presence 
in Egypt and the blending 
of ideas is well illustrated 
by a funerary portrait of a 
classical gentleman being 
handled by Anubis. It was 
he who escorted the dead to 
the underworld. This was 

the period when realistically 
painted portraits were 
attached to mummies. 
These portraits replaced the 
earher Hellenistic plaster 
masks. The painting was 
done on wooden tablets and 
were made during the 
lifetime ot the sitter 


Eastern, Western 

From the first the Romans 
showed a genius for real 
portrait sculpture, and 
such as those on Trajan's 
column. Also from the 
beginning, landscape and 
architectural painting with 
perspective of an imperfect 
kind was already highly 
aecomphshed. Mosaics, 
sometimes works of art, 
more often lourneyman 

stuff, spread thoughout the 
empire. The best Roman 

tropolitan sculpture 
could have great natural 
charm. Much surviving 
rehef carving is funerary- 
from tombstones and 
sarcophagi. Among minor 
arts the Romans cut c 
and painted i 
portraits on glass. Some of 
the early Christian art 
which flourished in this 
area is well known from the 
decorations at Ravenna 



PDitiaitufwinl Piimpcu 

Detail of a Christian sarcoplwius Rome 

Continental Europe 
While rnoM western 
pruviiicial art w.i>> liillv 
Roinunizcil, though ultcn 
pedestrian, an otciisjoiiiil 
spark ol a very un-Koman 
spint appears- particularlv 
perhaps, in Britain where 
Celtic an was to have a 
pusiRiiman revival This 
limestone he.ul trom ,i 
Utesized statue IS onlv 
Ruman in us hairstyle 

'Gloucester headTlimestoiu 
with red cnlounnf, 

Indian painting ot the 
period survives principally 
in cave temples The earliest 
are in the tamous .Mama 
caves ot Hvdrahad, where 
they range trom the 1st to 
-th centuries These murals 

:\ e colourtui insights into 
! Ik- court lite ot Gupta 
Within the Gupta empire 
Indian Buddhist an reached 
its peak. At Mathura and 
'^:irnath Buddha statues 
li.ivea serene heauty While 

irly statues portrayed 

'uddha as equal to his 
iiiJience, later 

presentations made him 

Far Eait 

Some ot the finest late Ha 
tomh tigures are the hriin. 
century general at Wu-Wci 
As well as the well known 
living horses" a number <'' 
I .irts and human figures 
were huried with him The 
' rnes were originally 
ichtlv painted The 
I lul scroll titled 
Imperial {'receptress' hy 
Ku Kai Chih is the oldest 
surviving example. 

Painted handscroll. KuK ai 
Chih. Cbino 

Bronze model of a horse carriage and driver. Wu-Wei. China 

The Americas 
The Mochica potters ot the 
southern coastal valleys of 
Peru produced an amazing 
r.inge ot figure pottery, 
ncluding animals, birds 
I nd a rich variety of human 
studies, including portrait 
heads. The jaguar 
maintained its ancient 
religious significance. The 
Mayas favoured grotesque 
monsters as decoration. 


lar showing.iaguar attackin$,a man. Mochica. Peru 

AD 1-500 Summary Chart 
Region Economy 

Events and developments 

mans from 226. Great 
• to Medil 

Roman province. Pre- 

xandria rivalled by Antioch. 
Byzantine provmce. Iron spread: 
Meroe into suh-Saharan Africa. 

Gradual rift between eastern and wester 
halves of Roman Empire. New capital at 

Imperial Rome as ruler of known world, 
under inereasins threat from civil war 
and external Barbarian attack. Split 
between E. and W, West succumbs c.400. 

Roman Empire extends to Rhine/Danube 
Traian adds Dacia. Trade beyond. 
Westward pressure of peoples builds up 
and breaches frontier Migration period. 

Andhra Empire 32 BC. Kushan invasion 
from NW 50 AD. Gupta dynasty 320. 
Ephthalite invasion 5th ( 


Jesus of Nazareth 

Trajan ,^^ 

Hadrian ;|H 

Pliny -m 



Marcus Aurelius 




King Arthur 



Alaric ■«« 

Attila 'WM 


Han dynasty to 220. Spread of civilizatii 
to Yangtze valley Unification of Japan 
4th century 

Rise of Teotihuacan and Tiahuanaco. 
Mochica, Zapotec, Nazca and Mayan 
civilizations. Basketmaker villages in 
southwest N, America. 

=5 Agriculture^ Hunting'tN Urban life tS Trade 4?^ 


intiUrjtii>n»l IuJjimii 

TcchnoluKY and inventions 
Cumpjrdtivc »tjKiijii<iii 


Amhiiiuu» u»(.' <>t brick v jull.v 

Art and litciaturc 

rurthuii and Sjtunun an xylc in rid) 
mctalwork and textiles 

Isis. ludaism 
ChriMianiiv lcjd> 
Coptic Churth 
OriRins ot 

Roman application ai some Creek 
inventions, e n widespread um- oI 
watcrwhecl, but advance dccidedlv 
slun("h Torsion-powered jnillcrv 


Hcllcniuic, Coptic and Byzantine art 
styles Especially m textiles, tuncrarv 

Chrisiiany becomes 
widespread Edict ot 
Milan .M2 Doctrinal 

Reginning of divergence of Byzantine 
architecture from main Roman stream. 

Imperial Roman art developing Creek 
cast to become more formal Byzantine 

New Tcsuimem 

Works ol Pluurch, losephus, Eusehius 

Roman pantheon 
Ueiticd cmperiors 
Ipolitical rather than 
religiousl Mithra> 
and Isis Chnstianitv 

Full development ot brick and c 
construction. Aqueducts, roads, 
temples, theatres. Amphitheaires, villas 
public baths, miliury torts, town walls 

Imperial Roman art: fresco mosaic, 
realistic portrait sculpture, statuary, 
bronze tigunnes 
Works of luvcnal, Tacitus, Phny 

Within empire, 
Roman gods 
challenged by Isis, 
Mithras, Chnstianitv 
Bog bodies in 

Advances in horse -nding, cavalry. 

Provincial Roman. La Tene continued 
in Ireland Cermanic art style developed 
in north. 

changing into 
Hinduism Vishnu 
and Shiva Hinduisn 
spreads through 
Buddhism into 
C Asia 

Buddhism spreads 
through China and 

Advances in medicine. Decimal system 
of mathematics with full use ot 
positional notation perfected 

Very fruitful period; paper, horse collar, 
watermill, wheelbarrow, seismograph, 
folding umbrella, cog wheels. 

Gupta architecture, rock-cut and free- 
standing temples, stupas. 

Timber architecture magnificent but 
surviving only in records, lapancse 

Candara, Mathura an styles Peak of 

Hindu an and architecture under 

Cuptas Aianta frescoes. 


Works of Kahdasa 

Haniwa tomb figures. Later Han 
Growth of Buddhist an Tomb figures, 
bronze horses Eastern Ch'in painting 
and calligraphy 

Mexican gods of sun, 
moon, rain, maize, 
feathered serpent, 
etc Similar range m 

Cold, silver and copper in Peru 
Obsidian continues in Mexico. Mava 
elaboration of calendar and script. 

Pyramids of Teotihuacan. Corbel 
vaulting in Mayan temples and palaces, 
elaborate suirways Temple platforms 
Monolithic gateway at Tiahuanaco 

Maya an developing, stone reliefs on 
calendrical stelae. Mochica an. 
especially figured ponery. 

Atlas of 

site maps 

sphere w nil mingled land and w ater masses and established latitudes 

and longitudes He used a conical pro]ection and mapped the then 

known inhabited world from Britain to China. 

• Maior sues 
o Other sues 
a Present-day cities 

The maps in this section 
locale the sites referred to in 
the book except for those 
few that are impossible to 
plot on the scale used. 
The world has been divided 

into the same ei$ht regions 
thai have featured throush- 
out with the addition of 
Australia. Some modern 
place names are included 
for reference purposes. 


B D 


a N.lirobi 

S ! R E N G L T I 

1' L A I N ooio.v,,. 



1 >)Kal8mbo Falls 

O Lubumbashi 

L U P E M H A 



A. ' 






DU.jr OS Sdlaan 


: <^ 









Okm 200 400 600 

Omis 200 


H L A C K S E A 


r L A I N 

\l u s 


O ^ 


4 -ous- 


• Mi 'I BeWha 




V A M (jJ N 1 C 


IQO . 290, 390 









E L B U R Z 

r R A R T U 






■•^^ .^ 

yi R /I B / A N 


B >1 Y O 
H E N G A 




Okm 300 600 900 
Omis 200 400 600 




\_J K AN SU 



() K H n T S K V 



P A C I F 

/ C 


O. ' 

JAPAN ^- cuMv; 

Xyy' oAgatsunry' 

^ O C E A 




F A ^ T 


c. /i J 1 


SEA ^^ 



km 250 500 750 

^ ' 

Omis 250 




^.:f^ h 


■\wSwanno m 



Page numbers are followed by map grid reference. 

AbuSimbel 232Df 
Abydos 232Dd 
Actium 234Cd 
Adamov 238Ff 
Addaura 237De 
Adena 244Eb 
Adige River 237Bb 
AfontovaGoru 242Ba 
Agatsuma 243Ce 
Agia Tnadha 234Ef 
Agngento 237Df 
Aichbuhl 238Eg 
Aihole 241 De 
Ajanta 241 Ee 
AKKAD 240De 
AlacaHuyuk 235Db 
Aleppo 235Ed 
Alesia 238Cf 
Alexandria 232Ca, 235Bh 
All Kosh 241Ac 
Almena 236Df 
Altamira 236Cc 
Altamura 237Ed 
Al-Ubaid 240Fg 
Alunda 238Fb 
Amman 235Eg 
Amu Darya River (see Oxus) 
Amur River 243Bc 
Anaradhapura 241 Ef 
Anau 241 Bb 
Anghelu Ru|u 237Bd 
Antioch 235Ed 
AntodoSilval 236Bf 
Apesokari 234Ef 
Arpachiyah 240Cb 
Arretium 237Cc 
Artemision 234Ce 
Aspendos 235Bd 
Assur 240CC 
Aswan 232Ee 
Asyut 232Dc 
Athens 234De 
Aungnac 236Ec. 238Bg 
Avaris 232Da 
Avebup/ 238Be 

Baalbek 235Ef 
Babylon 240Df 
Baghdad 240De 
Bahrein (see Dilmun) 
Bambata 233Bf 
Bamiyan 241 Cb 
Bandera Wela 241 Eg 
Barsippa 240Df 
Barumini 237Be 
Basse Yutz 238Df 
Bat Cave 244Cb 
Begram 240Db 
Behistun 241 Ac 
Beidha 232Fb, 235Eh 
Belbusi 235Be 
Benacci 237Cb 
Bern Hasan 232Dc 
Bethlehem 235Eg 
Beycesultan 235Ad 
BIHAR 241 Fd 

Birdlip 238Be 
Biskupin 238Fe 
Boghazkoy 235Cb 
Bohuslan 238Fd 
Bologna 237Cb 
Borg in Nadur 237Ef 
Borodino 239Cg 
Bouray (see Seine-et-Oise| 
Brahmagiri 241 Ef 

Bucharest 239Bg 
Buhen 232Df 
Buref 242Dg 
Byblos 235Ef 
Byzantium {sse Constantinople) 

Cadiz 236Bg 
Caesarea 235Dg 
Cahokia 244Db 
Cala Coves 236Fe 
CampdeChassey 238Df 
Camulodunum (see Colchester) 
Can Hasan 235Cd 
Carchemish 235Ed 
Carnac 238Bf 
Carrhae 235Fd 
Carthage 231 Cf 
Castellon 236Ee 
Castelluccio 237Ef 
Catal Huyuk 235Cd 
Cernavoda 239Bg 
Cerro Mangote 244Ee 
CerroSechin 244Eg 
Cen/eteri 237Cc 
Chaeronia 234Dd 
Chagar Bazar 240Aa 
Ch'ang-An 242Df 
Chanhu-Daro 241 Dd 
Ch'ang-Sha 242Dg 

Chavin de Huantar 244Eg 
Cheng-Chou 242Ef 
Chiclayo 244Eg 
ChinTs'un 242De 
Chichen Itza 2440d 
Chios 234Ed 
Chiriqui 244De 
Choga IVIami 240Ed 
ChogaZanbil 241 Ac 
Chou-Kou-Tien 242Ee 
Chuquitanta (see El Paraiso) 
Clovis 244Cb 
Cocle 244Ee 
Cogul 236Ed 
Colchester 238Ce 
Constantinople 235Ab 
Copan 244Dd 
Coppa Nevigata 237Ea 
Copies 232Ed 
CORFU 234Bc 
Corinth 234Dd 
Cortaillod 238Df 
Costig 236Fe 

Coxcatlan 244Cd 
CRETE 234Ef 
Ctesiphon 240De 
Cucuteni 239Bg 
Cuicuiico 244Cd 
Cumae 237Dd 
Cupisnique 244Eg 

DaburKot 241 Dc 
Danger Cave 244Bb 
Danube River 239Ah 
Dashur 232Db 
Deirel-Bahari 232Dd 
Deibjerg 238Ed 
Delphi 234Dd 
Dendara 232Ed 
Dendra 234Dd 
Desborough 238Cd 
Devon Downs 245Ec 
Didarganj (see BIHAR) 
Dilmun 241Ad 
Dimini 234DC 
Diyala River 240Ed 
Dneister River 239Bf 
Dolni V«stonic 238Ff 
Don River 239Ee 
Dordogne River 238Bg 
Dur-Sargon (see Khorsabad) 

Ecbatana (see Hamadan) 

Edfou 232Ed 

Egemarke 238Ed 

ELAM 241Ac 

El Argar 236Df 

El-Badari 232Dc 


ElCastello 236Cc 

Elche 236Ef 

El Diem 237Cg 

Elephantine Island 232Ee 

Eleusis 234De 

El Garcel 236Df 

El-Gerza 232Db 

El Inga 244Ef 

ElJobo 244Fe 

Ellora 241 Ee 

El Paraiso 244Eg 

El Riego 244Cd 

EITajin 244Cc 

El Wad 235Dg 

Ephesus 234Fd 

Epidaurus 234Dd 


Erech (seeUruk) 

Eridu 240Fh 

Eshnunna 240De 

Esna 232Dd 

Esse 238Bf 

EsTudons 236Fe 

Euphrates River 235Fc, 240Ce 

Eynam 235Ef 

Faiyum 232Cb 
Feng Hsiang 242Cf 
Fere-en-Tardenois 238Cf 
Fikirtepe 235Ab 
Filitosa 237Bd 
Folsom 244Cb 
FontdeGaume 238Cg 
Franchthi Cave 234Dd 
Fromm's Landing 245Ec 
Fu-Nan 242Bh 

Gades (see Cadiz) 
Ganges River 241 Ed 
Gani Dareh 241Ac 
Gavr'inis 238Bf 
Gaza 232Ea 
Gebelel-Arak 232Dd 
Ggantija 237Ef 
Ghassul 235Eg 
Gibraltar 236Cg 
Giza 232Db 
Glasinac 239Ah 
Gloucester 238Bd 
Gneiding 238Ef 
Gordion 235Bc 
Gournia 234Ef 
Graubolle 238Ed 
Grand Pressigny 238Cf 
Great Lakes 244Da 
Grimaldi 237Ac 
Grimes Graves 238Ce 
Guadalquivir 236Bf 
Guangala 244Ef 
GulfofAqaba 232Eb 
GulfofCambay 241 De 
Gulf of Suez 232Db 
Gumelnita 239Bh 
GUMMA 243Ce 
Gundestrop 238Ec 

Hacilar 235Ad 
Hadda 241 Dc 
HagarQim 237Ef 
Hagia Triada (Agia Tnadha) 
Hagrat 237Ef 
HajjiFiruz 241 Ab 
Hallstatt 238Fg 
HalSaflieni 237Ef 
Halys River 235Cc 
Hama 235Ee 
Hamadan 241Ab 
Harappa 241 Dc 
Hasanlu 241 Ab 
Hastinapura 241 Ec 
Hatra 240Cc 
Haua Fteah 234Dg 
Hawara 232Db 
Hazor 235Eg 
Heliopolis 232Db 
Hemamieh 232Dc 
Heracleopolis 232Db 
Heuneberg 238Ef 
Hieraconpolis 232Ed 
Hitaka 243Af 
Hoby 238Ed 
HONAN 242Ef 
Hopewell 244Eb 
Hosh 232Ca 
Hsiao-T'un (see Anyang) 
HsinTien 242Cf 
HuacaPrieta 244Eg 
Huang-Ho River 242Ef 

IBIZA 236De 
Indus River 241 Dc 
Ingaladdi 245Ea 
Ionia 234Fc 
Ischali 240De 
Isfahan 241 Ac 
Isin 240Ef 
Ismailia 232Db 
Issus 235Ed 

Jama 244Ef 
Jarmo 240Ec 
Jemdet Nasr 240Df 
Jericho 232Ea, 235Eg 
Jerusalem 232Ea, 235Eg 
Jordan River 232Fa 
Jumna River 241 Ed 

Kalabsha 232Ee 
Kalambo Falls 233Bc 
Kalibangan 241 Ec 
KamaresCave 234Ef 
Kaminal|uyu 244Dd 
Kandahar 241 Cc 
KANSU 242Ce 
KapovaCave 239Fd 
Kara Kun Desert 241 Ba 
Karanovo 239Bh 
Karli 241 De 
Karmir Blur 241Aa 
Karnak 232Ed 
Kausambi 241 Ed 
Kebara 235Dg 
Keilor 245Ec 
Kelermes 239Ff 
KenniffCave 245Fb 
Khafaje 240De 
Khirokitia 235Cf 
Khorsabad 240Cb 
Kirkuk 240Dc 
Kish 240Df 
Kivik 238Fd 
Klicevac 239Ag 
Klosterfoss 238Eb 
Knossos 234Ef 
Koln-Lindenthal 238De 
Kom Ombo 232Ee 
Koonalda Cave 245Dc 
Kostienki 239Ee 
Kostromskaya 239Ff 
Kot Di)i 241 Dd 
Kotosh 244Eg 
Kow Swamp 245Ec 
Kulli 241 Cd 
Kultepe 235DC 
Kushinagara (see MAGADHA) 

Lachish 235Eg 
Lagash 240Fg 
La Gravette 238Cg 
LaJolla 244Bb 
Lake Baikal 242Db 
LakeGarda 237Cb 
Lake Issyk-Kul 241 Da 
LakeNyasa 233Cd 
Lake Tanganyika 233Bc 
LakeTiticaca 244Fg 
Lake Urmia 240Ea 
Lake Victoria 233Ba 
La Madeleine 238Cg 
Lan-Chou 242Ce 
Larisa 234Dc 
Larsa 240Fg 
Lascaux 238Cg 
Las Huacas 244De 
LaTene 238Dg 
L^TIUM 232Dd 
Lauricocha 244Eg 
Laussel 238Cg 
LaVenta 244Cd 

Lengyol 238Fq 
LopwiskiVir 239Ao 
Lepls Magna 237Eh 
Lerna 234Dd 
Lespugue 236Ec 238Bg 
Leubingen 238Ee 
Lipan 237E8 
Little VVbodburv 238Be 
Loire flivef 236Fa. 238Bt 
Lofxiinium 238Ce 
Lortet 236EC 238Eg 
Los Millares 2360f 
Lothal 241 Dd 
Lovang 242W 
Lu (see SHANTUNG) 
Lung Shan 242Ee 
LUPEMBA 2338<i 
Luxor 2320d 

Ma Chang 2420) 
Maeshowe 238Cb 
Maiden Castle 238Be 
Maikop 239Eg 
MA<RAN 241 Bd 
Mallia 234Ef 
Malta 242Db 
Mammoth Cave 245Cc 
Man-Cheng 242E8 
Manzanillo 244Ee 
Man 240Ad 
Marksville 244Dc 
Marvao 236Be 
Mas dAzil 236EC. 238Cg 
Massiha 237AC 
Matera 237Ed 
Mathura 241 Ed 
MEATH 2388d 
Medinet Habu 232Dd 
Megiddo 235Eg 
Meidum 232Db 
Melos 234Ee 
Memphis 232Db 
Menmde 232Cb 
Meroe 232Fh 
Mersin 235Dd 
Mezhinch 239Cf 
Miao-Ti-Kou 2420f 
Miletus 234Fd 
Millstream 245Cb 
Milton Loch 2388c 
Minet et-Beidha 235Ee 
Minusinsk 242Ba 
Mississippi River 244Dc 
Mitia 244Cd 
Miyagi 24Xe 
Moche 244Eg 
Mochlos 234Ff 
Mohenjo-Oaro 241 Dd 
Moldova 239Bf 
MoMetta 237EC 
Momil 244Ee 
Mondsee 238Ef 
Monte Albdn 244Cd 
Mosul 240Cb 
Moundville 244Dc 
Mount Carmel 235Dg 
Mount Olympus 234Cc 
Mousa 238Cb 

Mullorup 238ed 
Mundigok 241Cc 
Murovbot 235(=d 
Mvc»fVie 234Dd 

Nohel Oren 235Dg 
Noksh iRustam 241 Be 
Nol 241Cd 
Napata 232Dh 
Naqada 232Ed 
Nara 243Cf 
Naukratis 232Ca 
Navdatoli 241 Ed 
Nazareth 235Eg 
NeaNikomedia 234Cb 
New Grange 238Bd 
Nile River 232Dc 
Nimrud 240Cb 
Nineveh 240Cb 
Nippur 240Ef 
Nonakado 243Cd 
Numazu 243Cf 
Nuzi 240OC 

Oaxaca 244Cd 

Oder River 238Fe 

Oenpelh 245Da 

Olduvai Gorge 233Cb 

Olorgesaihe 233Db 

Olympia 234Cd 

Opis 2400d 

ORISSA 241 Fe 

Orrubiu 237Be 

Otzaki 234CC 

Oxus River (see Amu Daryal 

Pachacamac 244Eg 
Pactolus River 234Fd 
Paestum 237Dd 
Palaikastro 234Ff 
Palenque 244Dd 
Palermo (see Addaura) 
Palestrina 237Dc 
Panama 244Ee 
PanPoTs'un 242Df 
Pan Shan 242Be 
Pantalica 237Ef 
Paracas 244Eg 
Parpallb 236Ee 
Pasargadae 241 Be 
Pataliputra 241 Fd 
Pazyrvk 242Bb 
Peche Merle 238Cg 
Pergamun 234FC 
Persepolis 241 Be 
Perth 238Cc 
Peschiera 237Bb 
Petra 232Fb, 235Eh 
Phaestos 234Ef 
Philae 232Ee 
Phihppi 234Db 
Pompeii 237Dd 
Praeneste (see Palestnna) 
Praia-a-Mare 237Ed 
Ptolemais 232Dd 
Pucara 244Fg 
Puerto Hormiga 244Ee 
Pushkan 239De 

Qatar 241 Ad 
Quolta 241Cc 

Raigir 24IFd 

Ras Shamr a (SM Ugar it) 

RhanaGhundai 2410c 

Rh«inHivor 238Dc 

Rhodes 235Ae 

Rhine River 237 Ag, 238Cg 

Rio Grande River 244Cc 

RioSeco 244Eq 

Row-' ' 'nr>i 

Sais 232Ca 
Sakagozi 235Ed 
Sakkara 232Db 
Samarkhand 241 Da 
Samarra 24(X)d 
Samothrace 234Eb 
SanAgustfn 244Ef 
Sanchi 241 Ed 
Sandia 244Cb 
San Pedro deEstoril 236Ae 
Sardis 234Fd 
Sarnath 241 Ed 
Savignano 237Cb 
Scarborough 238Cd 
Schifferstadt 238Df 
ScogliodelTonno 237Ed 
Scottsbluff 244Cb 
Seine-etOise 238Cf 
Seleucia 2400e 
Senorbi 237Be 
Sesklo 234Dc 
SestoCalende 237Bb 
ShahriSokhta 241 Cc 
Shanidar 241Ab 
Shimojima 243Bf 
Shirataki 243Cc 
ShuiTungKou 242De 
Shuruppak 240Ef 
SIAN 242Df 
Sidon 235Ef 
SIND 241 Dc 
Sittard 2380e 
Skara Brae 238Cb 
Skarpsalling 238Ed 
Smyrna 234Fd 
Snaketown 244Bb 
Solutre 23aCf 
Sonderholm 238Ec 
Sparta 2340e 
Star Carr 238Cd 
Starievo 239Ag 
Steinheim 238Df 
Stentinello 237Ef 
Sternberg 238Df 
Stonehenge 238Be 
Stfelice 238Ff 
Strettweg 238Fg 
SUMER 240Df 
Susa 241AC 
SutkagenDor 241Cd 
Swanscombe 238Ce 

SyracuM 237EI 

Takanosu 243Cd 
Takht iSulaiman 241Ab 
Tanis 2320a 
TARN 238Cg 
Tarquinia 237Cc 
Tarsus 235Dd 
Tartango 245Ec 
Tanana 239Ag 
TortaroRrver 237Bb 
Tartessus 236Cf 
Tarxien 237Et 
Tavoliere 237Ec 
Taxila 241 Dc 

Telamoo 232Cc 
TellAtchana 235Ed 
Tell Billa 240Cb 
Tell Brak 240A3 
Tell et-Amarna 232Dc 
Tell es-Sawwan 240Dd 
Tell Halaf 235Fd 
Tell Harmel 240De 
Tell Hassuna 240Cb 
Tell Judaida 240Fh 
Telloh (see Lagash) 
TeotihuacSn 244Cd 
TepeGawra 240Cb 
TepeHissar 241 Bb 
TepeMarlik 241 Ab 
TepeSarab 241Ab 
TepeSiyalk 241 Be 
TepeYahya 241 Be 
Thames River 238Ce 
Tharros 237Be 
Thebes 232Ed 
THERA 234Fe 
The Tombs 245Fb 
THRACE 234Fa 231 Fa 
Tiahuanaeo 244Fg 
Tiber River 237Cc 
Tiberius 235Eg 
Tigris River 240Cc 
Tikal 244Dd 
Timna 232Eb 
Tir/ns 234Dd 
TIatiteo 244Cd 
Togaruishi 243Ce 
Tokyo 243Ce 
Tdlund 238Ed 
Toprak-Kale 241Ab 
Tres Zapotes 244Cd 
Trier 238Df 
Troy 234Ec 
Trundholm 238Ed 
Trusesti 239B( 
TurengTepe 241 Bb 
Turoe 238Ad 
Tyre 235Ef 

Uaxactun 244Dd 

Ugarit 235Ee 

Umma 240Eg 

Umm Dabaghiyah 24<Xe 

Un«tice 238Ff 

Ur 240Fg 

URARTU 241 Aa 

Uruk 240eg 


Va£a 238Fg 
Vodastra 23QAq 

Vinc.l .' r lAf] 


Vistula River 239Ae 

WadienNatut 235Eg 
Wadi Haifa 2320f 
Wteserburg 23eef 
Wei-Fang 242Fe 
Wei River 242Cf 
Weipa 245Ea 
West Kennet 238Be 
•Wilgie Mia 245Cb 
Willendorl 238F) 
Wilson's Promontory 245Ec 
Windmill Hill 238Be 
Woldenberg 238Ee 
Woodhenge 2388e 
Wlj-Kuan-Tsun 242Ee 
WU-Wbi 242Ce 

Xanthos 235Ae 

Yamuna River (see Jumna) 
Yangtse River 242Dg 
YarimTepe 241 Bb 
Yaxchil^n 244Dd 
Yazilikaya 235Cb 

Zab River (Lower) 240eb 
Zab River (Upper) 240Db 
Zakro 234Ff 
Zambesi 233Be 
Zarzi 241Ab 
ZawiChem 241Ab 
Zhob 241CC 
Zincirli 235£d 



AbuSimbel 114, 120, !30 

Abydos 1 1 4 

Achaemenid Empire 145, 148, 

151, 169.177. 178, 186, 

186. 210 
"Achaeans" 1 16 
Acropolis 168 
Actium, battle of 1 74 
Advanced Hunters 21,23,24, 


art 22 

care of dead 21 2 
Advanced Hunting cultures 19, 

Adze 75, 787 

Aegean 42,96, 106, 121, 170 
Aeolians 148 
Aeneid 174 
Aeschylus 168 
Aesop 144 
Afanasyevskaya 94-6 
Afganistan 44, 93 

architecture 25. 25. 26. 26.!. 52.52 
art 33. 55. 55, 66 
technology 25. 26. 47 47 
Agamemnon 735 
Agricola 206 
Ahab 149 
Ahmose 117-18 
Aianta 227 227 
Akhenaten 119, 720, 132 
Akkad 93 
Akkadians 92. 121 
language 119. 148 
literature 1 14 
Alaca Huyuk 96 
Alamanni 210 
Alans 213 
Alaric 213 
Alaska 23 
Alexander the Great 167. 169, 

769. 178 
Alexandria 169 

Museum of 170 
Alloying 87 
Alphabet 113-14 
Altamira 22. 34 
Alyattes 151 
Amenhotep 111. 119 
Amenhotep son of Hapu 119 
Amenophis (Amenhotep) 
Americas (the) 45. 71 , 97 1 22, 
141 2, 182-3, 199 
architecture 28, 28. 30, 50, 
50. 53. 53. 76, 76. 79, 
102, 105, 705, 128. 728. 
131. 737, 156. 756. 159. 
759. 191. 191.220.220. 
223. 223 
art 80.80.83. 106, 706. 
109. 709 132. 732, 135. 
735. 160. 76Q 163. 763 
192, 792, 195, 795 202, 
224, 224. 227 227 

147 156. 


funerary cult 142 

Maya 182.191. 199.200-2. 

Mochica 201.201.227 

Nazca 201 

Olmecs 141. 182 

peopling 22-3 

technology 24. 24. 26. 26. 
46, 46. 48, 72, 72. 75, 
98,98 101, 707.124, 
724, 1 27 1 52, 752. 1 55, 
755, 184, 784, 187 787 
216,276 219,279 

Zapotecs 180, 200 
Ammonites 148 
Amorites 92,93,96, 114, 116, 

Amos 144 
Amun 1 18 
Amun-Re 1 19 
Anatolia 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 

Anaximander 141, 153 
Anghelu Ruju 121 
Angles 214 
Antinous 208 
Antler 27 

Antochus IV, 170, 178 
Antoninus Pius 209 
Antony 172, 173. 174 
Aphrodite 2, 171 
Apollo 176 
Arabian Gulf 92, 93 
Aramaeans 121 
Aramaeic language 147-8, 177 
Arcadius 208 

Archaeological terminology 1 1 
Archaic penod (Egypt) 88 
Architecture 28-31, 40, 50-3, 

76-9,87 102-5 114, 

128-31, 156-9. 

Ardrey Robert 17 
Arian heresy 212 
Aristophanes 168 
Aristotle 168. 176 
Arpachiyah 56. 78. 78 
Art 22. 32-5. 54-7 80- 

106-9. 132-5. 144 


Amarna 1 19 

Assyrian 160. 162 

Celtic 175, 177 

Chou 742 147 

Etruscan 147 

Megalithic 71, 77, i 

Minoan 114 

Old Kingdom 88, 89 

Olmec 746, 183 

Shang 722, 723 
Artemis 204 
Ashoka 167 178, 194 
Assurbanipal 144, 147 150, 

Assurnasirpal 145, 745, 149, 

Assyria 43. 114. 168 
Assyrians 120-1. 142. 148-9, 


architecture 156, 158, 758 

art 160 162, 762 

technology 152, 154, 754 
Aten 119, 132 
Athens 167 168 
Affile 213 
Augustine 202,213 



7 75 

Augustus 174, 7 74 202.203, 

204, 204. 226 
Aurelius, Marcus 208. 209 
Aungnacians 21,22,23 
Australia 22 

men in 22 

technology 25, 25, 27 
Australopithecines 17 
Aveburv 97 
Axvesta 144 
Aztecs 202 


Baal 149 

Baalbek (Heliopolis) 206 

Babylon 114, 117 145, 156, 

158, 758 
Babylonia 1 14, 1 17 148, 151 
"Babylonian captivity" 151 
Bacchae 173 
Bactria 178 
Balkans 69-70,97 176 
Baluchistan 65 
"Barbarians" 139, 140,210 
Bar-Kokhba 208-9 
Barley 40, 70, 93, 97 

six-row 42 
Barrows 122 
Basketr/ 707 
Batons 27 

Battle^Axe people 97 
Battle of Kadesh 1 20 
Beads 41 , 42, 43, 44 
Beans 71,97 122 
Beaker folk 97 109, 709, 121 
Bede 213 
Bedouins 89 
Beersheba 67 
Belgae 177 
Beycesultan 68 
Bible 120, 142 
Big-game hunting 23,45 
"Big-heads" 141, 746 
Bireme 747 

Black figure vases 70, 1 60 
Blade and burin 20, 21 
Boats 24, 44, 46, 62, 98 
Boethius 213 
"Bog people" 177 7 77 
Bone 27 

Book of Documents 122 
Book of Songs 144 
Boudicca(Boadicea) 204-5 
Bow and arrow 21 , 24, 44 
Brahmanas 140, 144 
Brahmans 177 
Brigantes 203 
Britain, 44, 70, 97 116, 121, 


invasion of 1 77 203 
Britannicus 204 
Broch 797 
Bronze 87 96, 97 98 

casting 100, 124, 126. 726, 
127 727 152 
Bronze age civilizations 42, 

Burial customs 

barrows 1 16 

Catal Huyuk 42 

Egyptian 67 

Hunters 21-2 

Jericho 40, 41 

Megaliths 71 

round mounds 97 
Byblos 67 68, 114, 120 
Byzantine art 274-75 
Byzantine Empire 212 
Byzantium 212 


Caesar Julius 172-3, 774 

1 76, 1 77 203 
Calendar 87 

Calendar Round 184, 187 787 
Calendar stones 201 
Caligula 203, 204, 208 
Camels 186, 786 
Camonica Valley 734 
Canaan 117 120 
Canaanites 96, 116, 119, 120, 

Canals 43, 150 
Capitals 704 
Caracalla 210 
Caratacus 203 
Carbon-14 9 
Cartamandua 204 
Carthage 139, 172 
Carthaginians 167 169, 170, 

Cassiodorus 213 
Cassivellaunus 203 
Caste system 1 77 
Castros 1 77 
Catacombs 212 
Catal Huyuk 40,41,47,42, 

43 50, 53, 53 54, 55, 55, 

56, 56-7 
Cattle 42, 44, 65, 66, 70. 93. 

Catullus 174 
Caves 21,30,30 37.43.50 

Cave painting 21 , 22, 34 5, 44 
Celts 140. 147 170. 172. 

175-7 7 75 7 76 195.202 
Ceramics 66 
Cereals 42. 44. 45 
Ceremonial centres 141 
Chaityas 188 

ChalcolithicAge 61. 71, 96 
Chaldea 148 
Chaldeans 150 
Chandragupta 199 
Chandragupta Maurya 178 
Chariots 113, 117 124, 726 

Chavin culture 141,147 156, 




Bucrania 41 
Buddha 141, 

Chavin de Huantar 141 
Cheops (Khufu I 
Chephren (Khafra) 
Chiapas 200 
Chicama Valley 97 
Ch'in Dynasty 180, 181 
China 109, 709 122, 14( 
142, 144, 180-2, 199, 

219. 219 
ChinoMsilk lao 
Chm Shih huang 172. 180. 

Cholula 200 

ChouOynastv 122. 140. 142. 
147. 148. 160. 163. 163 
Chou'KouTwncavos 17 
Chrotanilv 199.202.203. 

Christians 206.212 

persecution of 206.210 
Chuquitanta 122 
Church 210.212 
Cicero 173. 176 
Cimmerians 150. 151 
City of Cod 213 
Canaanite 116 
Mesopotamian 90 
Claudius 177 203 204 
Cleopatra 172. 173. /7jt 174 
Clovis 21 3 
Cochise 183 
Coinage 142. 154. 754. 177. 

186. t86.2\9.2!9 
Colchester ICamulodunum) 

Colombia 97 
Colosseum 206 
Colossi of Memnon ! 18. 1 19. 

Commodus 206. 209 
Communications 98. 142 
Composite bow 113. 155. 755 
Cone mosaics 64. 78. 78 
Confucius 140. 141. 144. 180. 

Constantine MB. 209. 212. 

Constantinople 212.213 
Contemporaneity 7 
Continental Europe 44. 45, 
69.70.97 116-7 121 2. 

architecture 29. 29. 30. 30. 77 79 
79. 103. 703. 105. 705. 
129. 729 131. 737. 157 
757 159. 759. 191. 797. 
220.2207. 222. 222-3 
art 22. 33. 33. 35. 35. 55. 
55. 57 57 64. 65. 68. 69 
81. S7. 83. S3. 107 707 
109. 709.133, 133. 135, 
735 161. 767. 163. 763. 
193. 793. 195. 795. 225. 
225 227. 227 
technology 25. 26. 47 47. 
48, 73, 73. 75, 99. 99. 
101. 707. 125. 725. 127 
727 153. 753.155. 755. 
185. 785. 187, 7S7 216, 
276-77 218,273-79 
Cop^n 201 
Copper 44,46,62.68,71. 

72. 152 
Copper Age 61 

Copper working 69. 75. 75. 97 
Corn 97 
Cotton 93-4. 97 
Crassus 173 
Cretacious period 13 
Cretan palaces 128.130. 

Crete 42.96. 113. 114. 115. 
116,128, 134 

Croesus 144, 151 

CromBgnom 19. 20. 21 

Crotabow 184. 187 187 

Crucilnion 203 

Clasibius 184 

Ctesiphon 206. 209. 222. 222 

CuK:uik:o 159. 759. 183 

Cull ol skulls 40,41 

Culture 11 

Cuneiform 62. 114. 124 

Cunobelin 203 

Cupisnique 155. 165 

Cyclades 69. 88. 96 106. 108 

Cylinder seals 63 

Cymbeline (Cunobelin) 

Cyprus 43 

Cyrene 70 

Cyrus the Great 145, 745. 150 

Cyrus the Younger 168 



Danubians 69 70. 79. 79 
Darius 145. 145. 167 177 
Darius II 768 
Dasyus 177 
Dating 9-10 
David 121 148 
Dead Sea Scrolls 205 
Decius 210 
Defences 40 
Deir el-Bahan 118 
Deibjerg wagon 187. 7S7 
Delphi 176 

Delphic Charioteer 766 
Denmark 45. 57 57 755 
Desborough mirror 202 
Desert culture 45 

Dimini 69 79. 79 
Diocletian 210 12. 270 
Diviticus 176 
Dolmen 70 
Domestication of animals 39. 

40 42. 43. 45. 46. 49. 49. 


plants 39. 40. 42. 43. 45. 
46. 49. 49. 65. 71. 72. 
97 122.142 
Domitian 206 
Dorians 148 
Dress 21.27 
Drills 74 

Durgas 223. 223 

Ewlam Medrtorninaan 'l. 
67 8 96 116. 176 
BfChilocturo 29. 29 30. .j- 

51. 57. 52. 52. 63. 63. 

77, 77. 79. 79. 103. 7031 

106 7061 129. 129. 

130 1. 7307. 157 157 

158. 1589 190 79Q 

2'i0.22Ol 727.222 
art 33. 33 35. 3S 55. 55 

56. 57 81,S7, 83.a3 

107, 108 706. 133. 133. 

134 5. 135. 161. 767. 

162. 762. 193. 793. 194, 

794. 225. 225 226 226 
technology 25. 25 26. 26 

47. 47 48. 73. 73 75. 

99.99. 125. 725 126. 

726 153, 753 154. 754. 

184. 786. 186. 766 216. 

276 7 218.278-9 
Ecuador 71.97 
Ecumenical Council 212 
Edict of Milan 212 
Egypt 43. 62 3. 66 7. 67 
88: 1 .').' ■>', 11 1 114. 

art 33. 55. 55 56. 56 I 

/i« .:.•■■. . .:••> .'.•I, .'.'h 
literature 1 14 
technology 25 25 26. 26 
47. 48. 73. 73 74 89. 98. 
99 99. 100. 700. 125. 
725 126. 726 153. 753 
754. 184. 785 186. 786. 

Elam 92.93. 148. 150 

Elamites 63. 65. 93 

El-Amarna 119. 120 

ElArgar 121 

Elburz 44 

Eliiah 149 

ElTajin 200 

Enki 63 

Enk) 63 

Enlil 90 

Ensi 65 

EpicofGilgamesh 114. 144 

Epidaurus 790 

Eridu 44. 63. 71 

Esarhaddon 150. 151 

Etruscans 733 147. 167. 170 
architecture 156, 756 
art 163, 763, 194. 194 
technology 155. 755 

Euclid 170 

Eunpides 168. 173 

Europe 140. 175 

Evolution 17 

Exodus 120 

FaMoce 62. 62 
Fir Eat 4&e666, 178«2 
architecture 29, 29 30. 30 
51 53. 77. 77 79 79. 
103. 703. 105. 706. 129. 
729 131. 737. 157. 757 
an 33. 33. 35. 36. 55. 56. 
707 109. 709. 133. 733 
135. 73S. 161 767. 163 
763 193. 793 195. 795 
77b. 225 727. 227 
tochndogv 25. 25. 26, 26. 
A7. 47. AB. 73. 73. 75. 99. 
99. 101, 707, 125. 725. 
127. 727 153. 753. 155. 
765. 185. 785. 187. 787 
217.277 219.279 
Farming 39. 43. 44. 65. 

Fenrale figurines 22. 42. 54. 

67 69 
Ferghana steeds 180 
Fertility cults 41.43 
"gurines 44 
•0 24 

••; altars 93 
': red brick 93 
First Cataraa (Nile) 66 
Fishbourne 206 
f .. :,n:, 205 6 

-13. 70 
•■nts 96.97 120. 

Food production 41, 45. 46. 
Food supplies 41.94 
Forum 270 
Funerary cult 142 
Funerary offering 92 


Early dynastic 

Egypt 88 

Mesopotamia 90 
Earthvvvks 70.89 
Easter Island 61 

Gades 140 

Galatia 170.175.176 

Galen 206 

Galley 152. 153. 753 

Gallic tribes 172. 176 

Gateway of the Sun 201 

Cathos 144 

Gauls 213 

Gavrinis 70 

Genesis 145 

Georgics 174 

Germanic tribes 203. 209 

Germanicus 203 

Ghassulians 68 

Gibbon 206 

Gilgamesh 89.89. 114 

Glaciations 16 
Glass 125.202 
Goats 40. 42. 44. 66 
GordionKnot 169 
Goths 210 
Gourds 97. 142 

Gravettians 21,22,23.28 

Great Shang 122 

Great Wall of China 172,178, 

180. 188.191. 797 
Greece 96. 116 
Greeks 114, 143. 148. 

167-70. 172. 176 

architecture 188 

art 147. 160. 161. 192. 193 
793. 194, 194 

coinage 145 

Dark Age 139 

in India 178 

orders 145. 147. 156. 158, 

philosophy 167. 168 

technology 184. 186 
Grimes Graves 70. 101. 707. 

Grinding 24 
Gudea 92. 96 
Gunderstrup cauldron 775 
Gupta Dynasty 199.224 

architecture 220. 221 . 223 
Gutians 92 
Gyges 151 


Hacilar 50, 52. 52 68 

Hadrian 208-9 

Hadrian's Wall 208. 222. 222 

Hahremhab 120 

Halafians 44, 61 

Hallstatt culture 140. 142, 742 

Hamilcar 170 

Hammurabi 114. 7 76 

laws of 7 76 
Han Dynasty 180-1. 191. 797 

architecture 188. 191. 797 

art 787, 194,200.224 

technology 184 

tomb figurines 181. 787. 227, 
Handaxe 17-18. 77 
Haniwa 224 
Hannibal 170-2 
Harappa 93 
Harpoons 21 
Hassuna 43 

Hatshepsut 116. 118, 720 
Hatti 114 

Hattusas 114, 120, 148 
Hazor 116, 120 
Hebrew Descent 120 
Hebrews 144, 147, 149 

alphabetic script 114 

literature of 144 
Heidelberg Man 17 
Heliopolis 118 
Hellenic Age 167 
Henges 97, 1 21 
Hengist 213 
Herculaneum 206 
Hermes 794 
Hero 184, 786 
Herod Antipas 203 
Herod the Great 174 
Herodotus 168, 178 
Heruli 210 
Hesiod 144 
Hieroglyphs 62, 74 182, 187 

787 219,279 
Hilltorts 156, 175,177, 188, 

191, 797 
Hinduism 177 
Hindus 140 
Hittites 113, 114, 117. 119. 

124. 148 

architecture 129. 729 

art 132. 734.135 
Hohokam 183 
Holocene 16 
Homer 142. 144, 744. 145, 

Hominids 17 
Homo 17 
Homo 16, 17 

erectus 17 

habilis 17 

sapiens 19, 20, 28 
Honorius 213 
Hopewell culture 183 
Horn of Africa 43 
Horsa 213 
Horses 94 
Horus 94 

Temple of 190, 790 
Hosea 144 
Hougue Bie 70 

Arpachiyah 78 

Chiica 705 

Danubian 79, 79 

Hassuna 78 

Jarmo 52 

Jomon 705 

Mohenjo-Daro W5 

mudbrick and straw 53 

PanPoTsun 79, 79 

skin and bone 30 

Thoios 78 
Houses of Life 1 14 
Housing 43. 69 
Hsiung Nu nomads 178.213 
Hungary 42 
Huns 779 213 
Hunting 71 
Hunting magic 28. 41 
Humans 93. 116. 117, 148 
Huts 21,28,30,43,52 
Hyksos 117 118 
Hymn to the Sun 1 19 
Hypocaust 216,218,279 
Hypogea 97 


Ice Age 16.23 

land bridges 16 
Iceni 204 
Ideograms 62, 124 
Ides of March 173 
Idols 41 
Iliad 178 
Imhotep 88, 97 
Inanna 64 
India 93. 140. 177-9, 199 

architecture 191, 797, 221, 
223. 223 

art 140 193. 793 195. 
795 225. 225 227. 227 

technology 140, 185, 785, 
187 787 217,219 

Indo-Europeans 96, 113, 114, 

116, 148, 175, 177, 178 
Indus Civilization 93-4, 102, 
105, 705, 114, 135, 735 
Indus Valley 93 
lonians 148 
Iran-India 44 
architecture 29, 29. 30, 30. 
51,57.53.53 77. 77.79. 
103. 703. 105, 705. 129. 
729.131. 737,157, 757, 
art 55,55.57,57 65 81, 
87.83.83. 106. 706 109. 
709 133. 733 135. 735 
161. 767. 163. 763 
technology 25. 25. 26. 26. 
99 101, 707, 125, 725 
1 27, 727 1 53, 753 1 55, 
Iron 180 

carbonized 1 13 
Iron Age 177 
Iron working 142, 152 

Chinese 142, 184 
Irrigation 46, 93, 184 
Isaiah 144, 149 
Ishtar gate 145, 158, 758 
Israel 148 
Israelites 116, 121 
Italy 96, 97 
Ivory 27, 68 



Jams 177 178 
Janus head 176, 7 76 
Japan 65,94, 182, 199 
Java Man 17 
Jebusites 148 
Jeremiah 144, 151 
Jericho 40, 52, 52. 55, 55 
Jerusalem 147 148, 759 

170, 172,203,205,208, 

Jesus of Nazareth 147, 179, 


Jewish Revolts 205, 208 
Jews 203. 204 
Jezebel 149 
John the Baptist 205 
Jomon culture 94. 109. 709, 

Joshua 120 
Judah 148-9, 151 
Judea 172 
Julia 208 

Julian the Apostate 212 
Jurassic Period 13 
Jutes 214 

Kalibangan 93 
Kara Kun Desert 44 
Karanovo 69 
Karnak 114, 118, 120 
Kassites 128, 132 
Khafra (Chephren) 88, 94 
Khirokitia 43, 50, 53, 53 
Khnum, temple of 222, 222 
Khufu (Cheops) 88 
Kilns 72, 74, 74 
King Arthur 214 
King List 65, 90 
Kings 149 
Kish 90 
Knapping 40 

Knossos 42, 1 16, 118, 1 19 
Palace of 116, 130-1, 730 
Korea 182 
Kotosh 122, 141 
Kourai 147 
Kouroi 147, 747 757 
Kush 117 118, 150 
Kushans 199 


Lagash 90,92, 113 
Land bridges 16,22,23 
Lakeside pile dwellings 70 
LakeTiticaca 183 
Lanka 178 
Lao-Tse 141 
Lapis lazuli 93 
Lascaux 74-75,22,35 
Late Hunters 11,23,39,43, 

LaTene 175, 775 177, 194, 

195, 795 202 
LaVenta 141 
Leakey Mary 17 
Legumes 40 
Leo 213 
Lepenski Vir 53 
Lerna96, 7 76 
Levant 39, 40, 43, 68, 96, 

114, 116, 117 118 
Libyans 89. 120 
Linear A&B 113. 124 
Lion gate. Mycenae 727, 132 
Literature 87 144 
LiuSheng 182 
Llamas 45, 71 
Loess 16 

Long count 216,219,279 
Looms 40 

LosMillares 71,96,97 705 
Lost wax casting 700, 126, 

726 127 727 216 
Lothal 93 
Lugalzagesi 92 
Lur horns 147 753 
Luxor 114, 119 
Lydians 148, 150, 151 


\t,i,..|,.p,,, .1.' 176 
Mdos Howo 70 
Magdalenuins 21.22.23 
Mahebherala 178 
Mahavira 177 
Maiden Coslte 2<» 
MaiM 45. 71.97 122. 142 

hybndization ol 97 
Makran 93 
Mjtlui lie 

Molallurgv 63. 66. 75. 76. 8' ■ 
94.96. 113. 184.216 

MbW«i 45. 127. 12? 

M«)uco 45. 71. 97 

MicroMhs 23. 27 27. 44. 46 

Midas 161 

Middk) Forrrvilivo Period 141 

Middle Kingdom (Egypt) 114 

Middle Minoon period 1 16 

Millet 66 

Mining 71 
in Sinoi 88 

Minoons 113. 116. 118. 132 
architecture 130. 1301 
art 114. 114. lis. 134. 13S 

Mil. inn. 11g no MH 

New Kingdom (Egvpt) 114. 
New Palaces (Crete) 114 
Nile delta 66 

Niiflrn/tT -n P:P, p.-y ?Ofl 
Nil.1 . . 

227 227 
Pasargadoe 146 
Passage grove 70. 79 96 
Passover 203 
Paula 212 

Pax Romana 1 74. 206. 209 
Pa^yrvk 178. t79. IBa 196, 

P.vinui'; 177 


Manioc 122 
Marathon 168 
Marconvinni 210 
Marduk 145 
Man lOe. 132. 134. 134 
Marquess of Tai 181 
Mastaba tombs 67 76. 78. 78 
Babylonian 124.126. 126 
Indian 216 
Matthew 206 
Mauryan Dynasty 167 178, 

Mayas 199.200-2 
architecture 182. 191. 191. 

200. 220. 223. 223 
art 20\. 227. 227 
technology 216 
Medes 150. .151 
Meditations 209 
architecture 70-1.96-97 

art 70-1.80.81.S7.83.e.3 
Megaliths 61.70.97 
Megaron 69. 79 
Megiddo 113. 114.118 
Melos 42 
Mencius 180 
Menes(Narnr)er) 67 
Menhirs 70 

Menkaure (Mycermus) 88. 95 
Menthuhotepll 114 
Merchants 93 
Mersin 68 
Mesoamerica 23. 97 
Mesolithic 11.23.54 
Mesopotamia 43. 44. 62. 86. 
87 89.93. 114. 144-5. 148 
architecture 29. 29. 30. 30.^.77 77 78. 
78. 103. 103. 104. 704. 
129, 729.130. 730.156. 
756. 158, 75e, 221. 227 
81.82.82. 107/07 106. 
709.133, 755.134. 134. 
161. 767. 162. 762. 193. 
193 194. 194.225.225. 
226. 226 
technology 25. 25 26. 26. 
47 47 48. 73. 73 74. 
98. 99. 99 100. 700. 
125. 725 126. 726 153. 
753. 154. 154. 185, 7S5, 
186. 736.217 277 218. 
Messallina 204 

Mogollons 183 
Mohenjo-Daro 93. 105. 705. 

109. 709, 131, 737 
Mona 203 
Mongolians 96 
Mongoiization of Japan 1 82 
Mons Badonicus 214 
Monlezunva 202 
Monte Albin 141,200 
Mortar 26 
Mosaics 194 
Moses 120 
Mother goddess 41. 42. 43. 

54. 69. 93. 97 97 
Motzu 180 

Mound of the Dancers 180 
Mount Gilboa 121 
Mount Sinai 120 
Mudbrick 50. 93 
Murex shells 120 
Mursilisl 117 
Mycenae 116 727.132 
Mycenaeans 116. 121. 132 
Mycennus (Menkaure) 


Nabataean Arabs 206 
Nabonidas 151 
Nabopalassar 150. 151 
Naram-Sin 90. 92 
Narmer 62. 67 
Narmer palette 62 
Narratives of the States 144 
Natufians 23. 26 30. 39. 40 

Natural Hatory 206 
Naveta tombs 121.131. 737 
Nazca 183.201 
Neanderthals 18. 7a 19.22. 

Neanderthalotds 18.20 
Near East 116 
Nebuchadnezzar 145. 150. 

151.156. 762 
Necho 150 
Needles 21.27 27 44 
Nefertiti 119. 720, 132. 134. 

Nekhbet 66 
Neolithic Revolution 39.40. 

42. 44. 46. 61 


Ubfi.sks 11 4, 130. 730.150 

Obsidian 40. 42 

Ochre 22. 142 

Octavian (Augustus) 173-4. 

Odoacer 213 
Old Kingdom (Egypt) 88-9. 

Old Palace period (Crete) 116 
Old Testament 144,147 
Olduvai Gorge 72, 1 7 
Olives, cultivation of 96 
Olmecs 113, 141. 182. 184 

art 141. 147 160. 163. 763. 

"big-heads" 122. 141. 160 

ceremonial centres 141.156 
Olympic games 139 
Oppida 140. 145, 175, 177 
Oracle 151 

Oracle bones 122, 127 727 
Origen 210 
Osins 119 

Ostrogoths 212,213.214 
Outcasts 178 
Ovens 48 
Oxus 169, 178 

Palaeolithic 11. 16, 19 
Palestine 43. 67. 68 
PanPoTs'un 79,79 
Pantheon 206, 220, 222, 223 
Paper making 216 
Papyrus 63 

Paracas Necropolis 183 
Paracas textiles 182. 183. 

195. 795 
Parisii 177 

Parthenon 168. 190. 790 
Parthians 169. 172. 173, 773. 


P.-r ■..,[►,,■, Ml, 1% 178. 

188. 190. 79Q 194. 194 
Persia 145. 151 
architecture 156. 190. 790. 
art 146. 193. 793 194. 

794. 225. 225 226. 226 
technology 185. 7Sfi 186. 
217 277 218. 27S 
Persian empire 167 177 
Peru 97 122. 737 
Petra 206 
Phaistos 774. 116 
Pharaohs 62.66.87 114. 

Ahnrxjse 11718 

Akhenaten 119. 720. 132 

Amenhoteplll 119 

Hahremhab 120 

Hatshepsut 116 118. 120 

Khafra (Chephren) 88. 94 

Khufu (Cheops) 88 

Menkaure (Mycermus) 

Menthuhotep 114 

Necho 150 

Pepi I 88. 709 

Pepill 88.114 

Ptolemy II 770 

Ramessesll 120. 727 

Ramesseslll 120. 121 

Sell I 120 

Shoshenk 149 

Snefru 88 

Thutmosel 118 

Thutmoselll 116. 777 

Tutankhamun 6. 119. 779. 
12a 726.128.132.134. 

Zoser 88. 94. 97 
Pharos 170 190. 790 
Phidias 168 
Phihp 169 
Phihppi 173 
Philo 184 
Philistines 121 
Phoenicians 114. 120. 129. 

140. 747.142. 147.170 

architecture 156 

art 774. 160 

technology 747. 152 
Phrygians 148. 151 
Pictograms 62 
Picts 213 
Pigs 70 94 
Pillars of Hercules 140 
Pi Ramesse 120 
Pithecanthropus erectus 17 
Pitho, 126. 726 


Plato 140, 168, 169 

Pleistocene 16 

Pliny the Elder 206 

Pliny the Younger 208 

Polybus 172 

Pompeii 190. 206, 206 

Pompey 172 

Pontic steppes 178 

Popcorn 71 

Poppaea 204 

Portugal 96, 97 

Potter's wtieel 62, 72, 94 

Pottery 65. 80, 94, ; 14. 162. 


fired 40 

in America 71,97. 122. 142 

in Eastern Mediterranean 
42, 147 

painted 40,44,122 
Potting 40,44. 122 
Praetorian guard 203 
Praxiteles 2. 194 
Pre-Classic Age 97, 122 
Pre-Classic period 141, 182 
Pre-Dynastic (Egypt) 43, 66-7 
Pre-projectile sites 23 
Priesthood, in Egypt 88 
Prince Rama 148 
Projectile points 23, 26, 75 

Clovis 23. 26 

Folsom 23, 26 

Sandia 23 

Scottsbluff 48 
Propylaea 168 
Protoliterate Age 62, 64, 90 
Psammetichus 150 
Ptolemaic Dynasty 1 69 
Ptolemies 169, 170, 173. 178 
Ptolemy 209 
Ptolemy II 770 
Ptolemy of Alexandria 209, 

230, 230 
Pul (Tiglath-Pileser) 149 
Punic Wars 170, 172, 180 
Punjab 177 178 
Punt 118 
Puranas 219 

American 200, 201 

Egyptian 88,90, 104, 104 

Moon and Sun 200,20/ 
Pyrrhus 170 
Pythagoras 141 


Ouamran 205, 208-9 


Ravenna 213.214-15 
Re 118 
Religious cults 
bulls 41,93 
death 41 
fertility 41 
funerary 42 
tree 93 

veneration of animals 93 
Republican Rome 167. 174. 

Retreat of the Ten Thousand 

Rice 93 
Rigveda 140 
Rillationcup 135, 735 
Rock engravings 45, 135, 735 
Rock paintings 43 
Romans 170-4, 180,202-14 
architecture 220, 220-7, 

art 202, 224, 225, 225. 

226. 226 
baths 210 
citizenship 210.212 
Empire 199,200,202 
Antoninus Pius 209 
Augustus 174, 774 202. 

203. 204. 226 
Aurelius, Marcus 208. 209 
Caesar, Julius 172-3, 774. 

Caligula 203, 204, 208 
Caracalla 210 
Claudius 177.203.204 
Constantine 178.209 212, 

Decius 210 
Diocletian 210-12,270 
Domitian 206 
Hadrian 208-9 
Honorius 213 
Julian the Apostate 212 
Leo 213 

Nero 204, 204. 205, 206, 

Romulus Augustus 213 
Severus, Septimus 209-10, 
Theodosius 212,213 
Tiberius 203, 208 
Titus 205. 206 
Traian 206-8 
Valens 213 
Varus 203 

Vespasian 204, 205-6 
roads 218.278 
Senate 205, 206 
technology 216.276-77 
Rome 139 

sacking of 176.212.213 
Romulus Augustus 213 
Roquepertuse 176 
Roxane 77/ 
Rubicon 173 
Rumania 42, 64. 65 

Radiocarbon dating 9,20.61. 

Ramayana 178 
Ramessesll 120, /27 
Ramesseslll 120. 121 
Ramesseum 120 

Sabines 170 

St Augustine 202,213 

St Clement 210 

St Helen 212 

St Jerome 212 

St Luke 206 

St Mark 205 

St Matthew 206 

St Paul 203. 204. 205. 208 

St Peter 205 

Sais 150 

Saite Dynasty 1 50. 162 

Saka 178 

Samarra 43 

Samarrans 43. 56. 56 

Samnites 170 

SanAgustin 183 

San Lorenzo 141 

Sanskrit 177 

Sappho 144. 148 

Sardinia 97 

Sardis 148 

Sargon 88. 90. 92. 93 

Sargonll 149. 150. 162 

Sarmatians 178. /79 180. 

Sassanids 210 
Saul 121 
Saxons 213.214 
Scandinavia 45.54.177 
Schliemanns 96 
ScipioAfricanus 172 
Scythians 145.148.150. 175. 

178. 180. 195. /95 

art /63 178. 179 
Seals 63, 67 

Indus valley 93,99. 101 

Indus valley 93,99, 101, 

stamp 48. 75, 75 
Second Semitic Empire 1 14 
Seismograph 216,219,2/9 
Seleucia 209 
Seleucids 169, 170, 172 
Semites 64, 90-2, 93, 96 
Seneca 204 
Sennacherib 150 
Setil 120 
Severus, Septimus 209-10, 

Shaduf 700 
Shaft graves 116 
Shalmaneser II 149 
Shalmaneser III 7 
Shang Dynasty 113, 122, 140. 


architecture 128. 131. /37 

art 133. 135. 735 

technology 127 127 
Sheep 40, 44, 65, 66, 70, 94, 

Ships 72, 726 747,142, 153, 

753. 186, 786 
Shoshenk 149 
Shrines 41,52 
Siberia 94 
Sickle 26 

Sidon 119,139,147 
Siege engines 142 

Assyrian 142. 154, 754 

Roman 278 
Silk Road 180 
Sind 65 
Siva 93 

Siyalk 44 

Smelting 41.61 

"Snake" Goddess 7/4. 116 

Snaketown 183 

Snefru 88 

Soghun Valley 65 

Solomon 121. 147 149. 159 

Solon 151 

Sophocles 168 

South America 71.97 122. 

Spain 57 96,97 140.177 
Sparta 168 
Spartacus 173 
Spindles 40 
Spinning 40 
Squash 97 
Ssu-ma 180 
Standard of Ur 86 
Star Carr 44 
Stelae 90. 132. 141. 160 
Step pyramid 88. 89 
Stilicho 213 
Stock-breeding 40. 43 
Stoics 209 
Stone Age 

Late 97 

Middle 23 

New 1 1 . 23. 42. 43. 44. 69 

Old 11,17 18,20.21,23 
Stonehenge 97 119, 121, 123. 

723,131, 737 
Stone tools 77 27 43.65,70, 

Stone vessels 43 
Story of Sinuhe 1 14 
Strait of Magellan 23 
Strand looping 44 
Strettwegcart 163, 763 
Stupas 178. 188. 191. 79/ 
Sudras 178 
Suetonius 206 
Sumeria 43. 44. 64-5. 92. 93 
Sumerian language 62, 93, 

Sumenans 64, 93 
Sunda Shelf 16 
Sunflowers 141 
Suppiluhumas 119, 120 
Susa 65, 93 


Tacitus 203, 205 

Talayots 121 

Tale of the Eloquent Peasant 

Taoism 141 
Tarquin kings 1 39 
Tarsus 203 
Tartessians 140, 177 
Tartessus 140 
Tarxien 96. 105. 705 
Tauret 794 
Taxi la 178 
Technology 24-7 46-9, 72-5, 

98-101,124-7 152-5, 

184-7 216-9 
Tehuacan Valley 45, 71, 122 
Telamon, battle of 176 
Tell es-Sawwan 56, 56 
Temples 68, 71, 76, 78. 90. 

97.102.105. 106 178. 191. 

Umma 90. 92 

46. 46. 48. 72. 72 75. 

191. 223. 223 

Uparushads 140. 144 

98.99.101. 707.124. 

TenochtitWn 202 

Ur 63. 87 90. 93 

724 127, 727. 152. 752. 

Tents 53 

d«truc1iono« 93 

155. 756. 184. 185, 186. 

Teotihuncin 183. 200. 220 

Royal cemetery of 90.97. 


TepeYahv* 93 

102. 106. 122 

2789 216 

Urartu 145. 148. 150 

Wheat 65. 70. 93. 97 

TertullMin 210 

Uf-Nammu 93 

Einkorn 40, 42 

Tetrarchs 206. 205 

Urnfiek) cultures 14Q 147 

Emmer 40. 42 

Texl.les 42 

Uruk 62,64.71.90 

Wheel 62. 72. 74. 98 

Paracas 182 

Whetstone 26 

Thales 141. 151. 153 

WvyHnnrimmmrtbuikJers 183 

Thebes 117.118.119 

•• 72.124 

Theodonc 213 


■ 7/4. 116 

There 116 

T 7^ 

Thermopylae 169 


aipfwlwl*. 113-14.142 

Th«ssa^ 42 


glyphic 201 

Third Dynasty 93 

Wljlfila 212 

Tholos 78 

Van.rx; .')3 

V\Aj ti 180 

Thracians 148 

Valley of the Kings 118.128. 

Thucydides 168 


Thutmosel 118 

ValleyofMexico 45.135. 

Thutmoselll 7/7 1)8 

135. 141. 759 

Thong-softener 21 

Vandals 213 

Thracians 148. 151 

Varus 203 


Tiahuanaco 183.201.220 

Veil 170 


Tiberius 203. 208 

Venus of Laussel 22,22 


TiglathPileser 121, 149 

Venus figurines 28,34.35 

TiglathPileserlll 14950 

Cycladic 96 

Xenophon 168 

Tigris-Euphrates 43. 44. 96 

Vercingetorix 172 

Xerxes 167 

Tikal 182. 201 

Vergil 174,774.206 

Timber 92. 96 

Verica 203 

Titus 205. 206 

Vespasian 204. 205-6 

Tobacco 142 

Vesuvius 206 

TollundMan 177.777 

Villanovans 155, 755 

Tombs 76. 78. 78 79. 79. 

Vinca 69 


96-7. 1 04. 705.121. J 30. 

Vines 96 


131. 790 

Virij Valley 97 


Tools 43. 44 

Visigoths 212,213 

Torre 121 

Vision of Nahum 150 

Yahweh 120 149. 150. 170 

Too Wan 182.195.795 

Vortigern 213 

Yakshi 195. 795 

Tower of Babei 145 

Votive bronzes 122. 122 

Yang Shao 65-6. 80, 94 

Trade 40.41,42.70 89.93, 

Vulca 194 

Yayoi 182 


Vulture cult 41-2,43 

YuehChi 178, 199 

Trajan 206 8 

Yugoslavia 42 

Transcaucasia 44 

Transport 72 

TresZapotes 141 

Trireme 186, 786 

Triumvirate 173 

^ AT 

TrqanWar 116,120 



Troy 96. 105. 705 

y V 

/ , 

True Cross 212 


Trundholm sun chariot 122. 



Wadiet 66 

Zab River 43 

Tso<h-|uMing 144 

V\ftill reliefs 41 

Zagros 39, 40 44. 65, 92 

Turoe Stone 775 

Walled towns 96 

Zakro 116,118 

Tutankhamun 6.119. 779 

V\ftrnng States 180,182 

Zapotecs 182.200 

120 726.128.132.134, 

\Afttermill 216 

Zealots 205 


\Afeaving 40, 44, 97, 98 

Zeus 170 

•Two Lands" 66 

\Afessex 121 

Ziggurat 102. 104. 104. 130. 


730. 144. 145. 758 

69 71,96-7 116,121.139. 

Zoroaster 141 

140 147 

Zoser 88. 89.9^,97 

architecture 28. 28. 30. 50, 

50. 53. 76. 76. 79 79. 

102. 702. 105. 705. 128. 

T T 

131. 737. 156. 756. 159. 

1 1 

759. 190. 190. 220. 



art 32. 32. 34. 34. 54. 54. 

Ua.xact..r 201 

57. 57. 80. ao. 83. S3. 

Ubaidans 63. 64 

106, 706. 109. 709. 132. 

Ugarit 114. 7 74 116 

732,134, 734.160. 760. 

U^sses 206 

163. 763. 192. 792 194. 

■Umbrella" lands 39. 40, 42. 

794, 225. 225i 226. 226 


technology 24.24 26.26. 

253 I 


Photographic Sources 

The photographs appearing in the book are identified 
below as follows:- 

page number (in bold type); subject; museum or gallery 
(in italicsl; photographer or photographic source 
(In parentheses). 

Jacket: Stone Circle, Castlerigg (Picturepoint Ltd| Back 
jacket: Head of Brutus (Alinarij Back jacket: Nefertiti; 
Staatliche Museum. Berlin (BildarchirPreussicher 
Kulturbesitz) Inside back flap: The Good Shepherd 
(Sonia Halliday) Inside back flap: Photograph of Jacquetta 
Hawkes (Mark Gerson) 

1 Ivory relief of warrior from Palace of Shalmaneser III; 
Iraq Museum, Baghdad (Picturepoint Ltd) 2 Bronze head of 
Aphrodite; British Museum (Michael Holford) 6 Back of 
Tutankhamun's throne; Cairo Musuem (Roger Wood) 
8 Sphinx at Giza (Michael Holford) 10 Laconian kylix; 
Bihhothdque Nationale. Paris (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 
12 Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, (Bruce Coleman Ltd) 14 The 
Hall of Bulls, Lascaux (Colorphoto Hinz) 31 Danger Cave, 
Utah (Werner Forman Archive) 34 Deer, Altamira, Spain 
(Picturepoint Ltd); Bison Altamira (Michael Holford); 
Stags and fish plaque, Lortet, France; National Museum, 
St. Germain-en-Laye (Photoresources) 35 Venus of Laussel; 
Musee d'Aquitaine, Bordeaux (Photographic, Giraudon); 
"Chinese Horse',' Lascaux (Colorphoto Hinz); Venus of 
Willendorf; Naturhistorisches Museum. Vienna 
(Photoresources); Two horses, Pech-Merle (Jean Vertut) 
38 Stag's head, Catal Huyuk; Archaeological Museum. 
Ankara (Mrs M, A. Mellaart) 52 Tower at Jericho (George 
Gerster/Rapho) 56 Halaf plate, Arpachiyah (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv); The Hunter, Catal Hiiyuk; Archaeological 
Museum. Ankara (Mrs M. A. Mellaart); Hasan Dag, Catal 
Hiiyuk; Archaeological Museum. Ankara (Mrs 
M. A. Mellaart) 57 Amber carved animals; National 
Museum. Copenhagen (Museum photograph) 60 Head 
from Uruk, Mesopotamia; Iraq Museum. Baghdad (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv) 64 Clay figurine of man, "The Thinker,"; 
National Museum, Bucharest (Photoresources)66 Hunter's 
Palette from Egypt; Ashmolean Musemn (Museum 
photograph) ; Ivory label of King Den; British Museum 
(Michael Holford) 68 Terracotta Idol,Eridu; Iraq Museum, 
Baghdad (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 70 Painted beaker from Susa; 
Iraq Museum, Baghdad (Josephine Powell); Bronze hoard 
from Engedi (Ronald Sheridan) 71 Kerbstone, New Grange 
(Photoresources) 74 Clay tablet; British Museum 
(Photoresources) 78 Cone mosaics, Uruk; Iraq Museum, 
Baghdad (E.Bohm, Mainz) 8ZUruk vase; Iraq Museur7i, 
Baghdad (Holle Verlag); Narmer Palette,- Cairo Museum 
(Werner Forman Archive); Fhnt knife.with ivory handle 
from Gebel-el-Arak; Louvre (Ronald Sheridan) 83 Diraini 
pot; Ncltu^!^ if Mm :f';iii! Athens (Josephine Powell); Siyalklll 
beaker, 5 ' \ I iii'eum, Teheran (Josephine 

Powell!, "I'll i'i 'Mihiii.NewGrange (Photoresources); 
Amberliiiis. \i(i ; , " uii Vor-undFruhgeschichte. Berlin 
(Bildarchiv Prcussischcr Kulturbesitz); Yang Shao 
funerary pot; Musemn of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm 
(Museum photograph) 86 Standard of Ur, War; British 
Museum (Michael Holford) 89 Figure of Gilgamesh, 
Khorsabad; Louvre (Michael Holford) 90 Akkadian head 
of Sargou; Iraq Museum, Baghdad (Hirmer Fotoarchiv); 

Stele of Naram Sin; Louvre (Michael Holford) 91 Goat in a 
Wepemnofret Stelc; Lowie Museum of Anthropology, 
University of California, Berkeley (Museum photograph) 
101 Gold jug; Ankara Museum (Josephine Powell); Flint 
Thicket, Ur; British Miiseum (Michael Holford); Gold 
helmet of Mes-Kalamshat; Iraq Museum. Baghdad 
(Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 92 Model of wooden plough; British 
Museiun (Michael Holford) 94 Statue of Khafra; Cairo 
Museum (Robert Harding Assocs); Statue of Zoset; Cairo 
Museum (Werner Forman Archive) 95 Geese from 
Meidum; Cairo Museum (Werner Forman Archive); 
Dwarf Seneb & Family; Cairo Museum (Robert Harding 
Assocs.); Pair Statue of King Menkaure and his Queen; 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Peter Clayton) 96 Cycladic 
venus; British Museum (Michael Holford) 100 Copper 
Goddess; British Museum (Museum photograph); 
dagger; Nationai Museum, Copenhagen (Museum 
photograph); Mohenjo-Daro seals; National Museum of 
Pakistan, Karachi (Robert Harding Assocs.) 104 Pyramids at 
Giza (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 105 West Kennet Barrow 
(Michael Holford); Great Bath, Mohenjo-Daro (Josephine 
Powell); Temple at Tarxien, Malta (Robert Estall) 
108 Votive statuette. Tell Asmar; Iraq Museimi , Baglidad 
(Picturepoint Ltd); Boy with oxen from Tomb of Ti 
(Roger Wood); Seated scribe; Cairo Museiun (Roger Wood); 
The great singer, Uranshc; Damascus Museum (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv); Statuette of Pepi II and his mother; Brooklyn 
Museum (Museum photograph); Bull harp,Ur (Picturepoint 
Ltd.); Harp player; National Museum. Athens 
(Photoresources) 109 Sleeping lady from Hypogeum; 
NationalMuseum, Valletta, Malta (Photoresources); Priest 
King; National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi (Josephine 
PoweU); Beaker pot; British Museum (Photoresources); 
Grimes Graves goddess; British Museum (Photoresources) 
112 Wedded couple, tomb of Ramose at Thebes (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv) 114 Phaistos Disc; Herakhon Museum, Crete 
(Picturepoint Ltd); Phoenician ivory rehef from Ugarit; 
Louvre (Photographic Giraudon); Minoan libation jug; 
Herakhon Museum, Crete (Photoresources) 115 Wall 
painting of Bluebud; Herakhon Museum, Crete 
(Photoresources); Sarcophagus from Hagia Triada; 
Herakhon Museum, Crete (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 116 
Hammurabi of Babylon; Louvre (Ronald Sheridan); 
Code of Hammurabi; Louvre (ManseU Collection) 

117 Thutmose III; Cairo Musemn (Bildarchiv Foto Marburg.) 

118 Scene from "Book of the Dead"; British Museum 
(Michael Holford); Musicians and Dancers, Thebes 
(Michael Holford); Colossi of Memnon (Picturepoint Ltd) 

119 Water offering to the Mummy; British Museum 
(Michael Holford); Nefertiti's daughters; Ashmolean 
Musemn (Michael Holford); Tutankhamun's casket; 
Cairo Museiun (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 120 Queen Hatshepsut, 
Karnak (Peter Clayton); Akhenaten and Nefertiti (Peter 
Clayton) 121 Ramesses II, Karnak (Michael Holford); Lion 
Gate, Mycenae (Ronald Sheridan) 122 Shang spearhead; 
British Museum (Michael Holford); Shang Vessel (Robert 
Harding) 123 Stonehenge (Michael Holford); Chariot of the 
Sun; National A'luseuin, Copenhagen (Museum photograph) 
126 Tutankhamun's throne; Cairo Museum (F. L. Kennet/ 
George Rainbird Ltd) 127 Bronze ritual food vessel 
(Robert Harding Assocs.) 130 Deir-el-Bahari (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv); Naveta esTudons, Minorca (Photoresources) 
130 Tombs Cala Coves (David Trump) 131 Street in 
Mohenjo-Daro (Robert Harding Assocs); Stonehenge 
(Photoresources) 134 Sacrifice scene, Mari Louvre (BuUoz); 

Held ot Nctcrtitij Sumtliche Museen, Berlin (Bildarchiv 
rrcussischcr Kiiliurbcsitzli TVitankhamun's pectoral) 
C'uirci Aliiifiiiji (F L Kcnnct/GcorRc Rainbird Ltd) 
134-5 Bull Icapmi? trcsco, Hffjfc/io;! ,\Iii.vf mil. Cfftf 
(I'hotorcsourtcs) 135 Kuik ludh.ilias I V, Ya;ilikava 
lloscphiiK- I'dwclDj "The .Mask ol AjtanK-mnon"; Natioim 
MtU'truni. Athens irhotorcMnirccs); Ritual vessel, Musie 
Cernuscbi. I'uri.i jMichacl HoUordl; Rillatnn Kold cup, 
Briliih Alii.ii'uiii jEilccn Twccdvl 138 Etruscan sarcophaj(USj 
iVIujieo ill Villii Ciului. Rome {Leonard von Matt) 141 
Phoenician ship, Hrilish Museum (Michael HoltordI 
142 Hallslatt plate, ftriti.'ih Museum iMuseum photOKraph), 
Tiger's head, OiliUiulLschf MiJsefn.Co/oKiif (Michael 
HoHordll43 Theseus kilhnu Minotaur, J<ririN/i,\!iufii;ii 
(Michael Holtord) 144 Homer, Loiivrf (Ronald Sheridan), 
Winged lion ot Sargon, Hrilisd ;\Iiiif um (Ronald Sheridan) 
145 Assurnasirpal enthroned, «riti.s/i Alii.semii (Michael 
Holford), Audience scene, Persepolis (Onental Institute, 
University of Chicago) 146 Olmec seated figure, Natitmdl 
Museum oi /Im/iropo/ogy. Mfxico (Werner Forman 
Archive), Colossal head. La Venta, Mexico (Werner Forman 
Archive) 147 Stranglord Apollo, Hntish Museum 
(Photoresources), Apollo of Veii, Muscodi ViUaCiulia, 
Rome (Michael Holford) 149 Sargon II, iVIii.fco Egizio. 
Tlirin (FotocolorGRampaiZi, Turin) ISO Nimrud ivory, 
Metropii/iwn Aliwfiini of ,'lrt. New York: Rogers Fund 
(Museum photograph) 151 Calf bearer. Acropolis Museum, 
Athens (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 154 Assurbanipal hunting 
wild asses, British Ahueiini (Museum photograph) 
162 Woodland hunting scene, British Aluseum (Michael 
Holford), Nebuchadnezzar Il's Royal Chamber, 
Stajtiiche Aliiscf/i. Berlin (Bildarchiv Preussischer 
Kulturbesitz), Geometric vase, /intifcfnsjmm/iing. Munich 
(Hirmer Fotoarchiv! 163 Etruscan warrior, British Museum 
(Michael Holford), Sardinian warrior, Nmional Museum. 
Copenhagen (Museum photograph), Scythian panther, 
Hermitiigc.LeningXiid (Photoresources), Mongolian girl, 
Maseumof fine i4rLs, Boston (Museum photograph), 
lade ceremonial adze, British AIuseuni<Wcrner Forman 
Archive) 166 Charioteer of Delphi, Delphi Museum 
(Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 168 Pericles, British Museum (Michael 
Holford); Darius, Naples Aluseuni (Photoresources) 
169 Head of Alexander (Photoresources), Alexander on 
horseback, /Irchjeo/ogicj/ Aluseuni. Istanbul 
(Photoresources) 170 Ptolemy and wife, Hermitage. 
Leningrad (Photoresources) 170 Alexander and Roxane, 
Kiuisthistorischts Museen. Vienna (Museum photograph) 
172 Dying warrior (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 173 Parthian shot, 
Tiheran Aluseum (William MacQuitty), Head of 
Cleopatra, British Museimi (Michael Holford) 174 Julius 
Caesar (coin), British Aluseum (Michael Holford), 
Augustus (Photoresources), Vergil, Sousse, Tunisia 
(Photoresources) 175Turoe stone, Galway, Eire 
(Photoresources); Gundestrup cauldron. National 
Museum. Copenhagen (Museum photograph) 178 Scythian 
plaque "blood brothers". Hermitage. Leningrad 
(Photoresources) 179 Scythian stag. Hermitage, Leningrad 
jPhotoresourccs); Samaritan plaque, Hermitage, Leningrad 
jPhotoresourccs), Pazyryk saddle-cover. Hermitage, 
Leningrad (Photoresources) 180 Pazyryk silk phoenix. 
Hermitage. Leningrad (Photoresources) 181 Jade horse, 
Victoriaand Alben Museum (Michael Holford), Han 
vessel, VbJkerlcunde Aluseum (Michael Holford), Han 
figure (Werner Forman Archive) 182 Paracas textile 
(Ferdinand Anton) 183 Olmec baby. Private co//ection 

(Werner Forman Archive) 186 Camel, Pcmepolis jWilliam 
MacQuitty) 187 Dcjhjrrg wagon, National Miueum, 
Cnpenhanen (Museum photograph) 190 Naksh i-Rustam 
(William MacOuitlv), Ihc Parthenon, Athiiin (Soma 
Hallidavl, IVtscpoli-. (OritntalliistitiiiL-, University of 
ChicagoF, Theatre at bpidaurus (Soma Halliday), The First 
Pylon, Edtou (Michael Hollord) 191 The Great Wall,China 
(William MacQuitty), Sanchi Stupa (Bury Peerless), West 
Cote of Sanchi (A F Kersiing) 194 Gold rhyton, Tehenin 
Mafeiini (losephine Powell), Statue ol Hermes, Olympia 
Mateuni (Soma Halliday), Persian and Mede, Persepolis 
(William MacQuitty), Etruscan head, Vjliivin.MiHeo 
Gre.i{f>ri<ino Elrii.scD. Koine (Scala), Tauret, British Museum 
Michael Holtord), Musicians fresco, Tarquinia (Scala) 
195 Battersea Shield. Hnlish AliiMiini (Photoresources), 
Chinese leopard (Robert Harding Assocs), Basse-Yutz 
flagon, British Museum (Museum photograph), Pazyryk 
wall-hanging. Hermitage, tcniiigrjd (Photoresources), 
Paracas textile. Private co//eetinn (Michael Holtord) 
198 Celling, Baptistry of the Orthodox, Ravenna (Hirmer 
Fotoarchiv) 200 Han flying horse, /'eking Aluseuni (Robert 
Harding Assocs ) 201 Mochica figurine, British iVIuseuni 
(Museum photograph), Pyramid of the Sun,Teotihuacan 
(Werner Forman Archive) 202 Glass lug, British Aliueum 
(Michael Holford), Desborough mirror, British Aluseum 
(Museum photograph) 204 Coin of Nero, British AIu.seum 
(Michael Holford), Augustus di Prima Porta, Vatican 
Museum (Scala) 205 The Tetrarchs, St Mark's, Venice 
(Scala) 207 Roman Fresco, British Museum (Michael 
Holroyd) 208 Head of Tiberius, Istanbul (Photoresources); 
Head of Julia, Aluseuni of Fine Arts. Budapest 
(Photoresources), Head of Marcus Aurclius, Antalya, 
Turkey (Photoresources), Head of Caligula, Cyprus 
Aluseum (Photoresources), Head of Arcadius, Istanbul 
(Photoresources) 209 Septimus Severus, Staalliche 
Museen. Berlin (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz), 
Head of Constantine, Basilica Nova (Werner Forman 
Archive) 210 Coin of Diocletian (Photoresources) 
211 Roman Forum (Werner Forman Archive) 212Coinof 
Constantine (Photoresources) 214 Mosaic, S. Pudenziana, 
Rome (Scala), Mosaic, Arian Baptistry, Ravenna (Sonia 
Halliday), Mosaic, Galla Placidia, Ravenna (Sonia Halliday) 

218 Roman road, Blackstonc Edge (Picturcpoint Ltd) 

219 Roman hypocaust (A. F Kersting) 222 Pont du Card, 
Nimes ( A. F Kersting), Temple of Ed Ucir, Petra 

(A. EKersting), Roman Ampithcatre at Ed Djem 
(A. E Kersting), Hadrian's WaU, Cawf icld Crags 
(A. F. Kersting) 223 Maison Carrce, Nimes (A. E Kersting); 
Roman theatre at Aspendos (Sonia Halliday), Interior of 
the Pantheon, Rome (Scala) 226 Parthian dish; 
British Alusetmi (Michael Holford); Gravestone of a girl; 
Staatbche Museen, Berlin (Bildarchiv Preussische 
Kulturbesitz); Seated figure of young girl; Museo nuovo 
nel Palazzo dei Conservatori. Rome (ManscU Collection), 
Augustus cameo; British Museum (Photoresources); 
Anubis and Osiris, Louvre (BuUoz); Girl with stylus; Museo 
Nazionale, Naples (Scala) , Sarcophagus of Junius BassuS; 
Vatican (Hirmer Fotoarchiv) 227 "Gloucester" head; 
G/oucester City and fo/kAIuseums (Photoresources); 
Ajanta fresco (Victor Kennett); Horse and carriage 
(Robert Harding Assocs); Buddha preaching; 
Archaeo/ogica/Museimi.Sarnath (Bury Peerless); Pottery 
incense burner (Eileen Tweedy); Mochica stirrup iar; 
Aluseum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge 
(Museum photograph) 230 Map (Michael Holford) 

The Atlni ol Early Man 
was edited and designed by 

Managing Editor 
Christopher Davis 

Amy Carroll 

An Edilori 
Stephanie Todd 
Julian Holland 

Picture Rcicarchcr 
Caroline Lucas 

Dorling Kindersley Limited 
would like to thank James 
Mellaart and David 
Kindersley for their 
special assisuncc. 


David Baird 
Michael Craig 
Vana Haggerty 
Richard Jacobs 
Sarah Kensington 
David Nash 
Linda Nash 
Ann Savage 
Michael Woods 

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